BRR 2013 Profile: Vincent Valentine

Will it click for redshirt freshman Vincent Valentine this fall?

Vincent Valentine Profile

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 325 pounds

Year: Redshirt Freshman

High School: Edwardsville, IL

2012 Review:

Valentine redshirted in 2012, proving to be a handful for the offensive line on scout team during the season and in the spring.

2013 Outlook:

The redshirt-freshman should be in the top four of the defensive tackle rotation, but it's all up to him on where he's slotted.

Valentine has the potential to be a NFL defensive tackle, but the light bulb hasn't quite come on yet according to multiple coaches, including the head-man.

"Vincent has to learn how to work and how to push through," Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said during Big Ten Media Days. "When you're that big, that physical, that talented - it was easy for him in high school. You step up to this next level, you have to understand the type of mentality, the type of work ethic, the type of being able to fight through when you're tired. The self-imposed hurdles he has to overcome...Some of it is mental with Vincent. He's a young guy. There's nothing new there. With him, the faster he understands that, the more he's going to be able to help us."

Valentine's position coach agreed in the spring.

"I think the big thing is the tempo and playing against guys his size – the physical and mental toughness it takes," said Nebraska defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski. "I think he does a good job knowing what he's supposed to do, it's just rep on rep three and four, when you have another 300-pound guy pushing on you, he's never had to exert that effort.

"You have to have the mental toughness to do that rep after rep and it takes a while for guys to do that and figure it out. He's got to figure it out quick. It's the biggest thing that stands in his way right now. He's got to be able to concentrate and focus when he's tired. You are going to be tired especially in the trenches."

How he ended up in Lincoln:

Valentine picked the Huskers on National Signing Day, choosing to head to Lincoln instead of Illinois and Florida. His efforts his senior year earned second-team All-State honors, after he racked up 11 sacks for Edwardsville.

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Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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