High School: Edwardsville HS (IL)
Somewhat called out by the coaches in the spring of 2013 and by Bo Pelini at Big Ten Media Days in July 2013, Valentine responded, taking his game to the next level.
Starting six games and appearing in all 13 contests for the Huskers, Valentine made huge strides over the course of the season, finishing the year with 21 tackles and a sack.
While it wasn’t the coming out party many expected, Vincent Valentine was more than solid for Nebraska in 2014, playing in all 13 contests and starting 11 of them.
The sophomore recorded 45 tackles and three sacks, forcing a fumble and two quarterback hurries along the way.
If the spring was any indication, Valentine could be in for a huge year, judging by how many times he was blowing up plays during practices. While conditioning and his weight have always been a storyline during his career, Valentine looked to be in a good place during March and April.
Alongside Maliek Collins, Valentine will likely be one of the better defensive tackles in the conference. The pair plays off each other nicely.
”Maliek is quick. Vincent is powerful,” said Nebraska defensive line coach Hank Hughes during the spring. “Maliek’s quick, explosive, hard to block 1-on-1. His quickness is really what he has. At the same token, Vincent is a load to block. He’s a big man. He’s done a good job out there.”
BRR projection: Valentine will be once again the starter in the middle, but the depth at the defensive spot is better in 2015 than it was 2014. Fewer snaps might actually help the junior.
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 in Illinois, after he racked up 11 tackles and three sacks for Edwardsville high school (Class 7A).
As a junior, Valentine grabbed the attention of colleges across the nation, recording two sacks, two forced fumble, and 33 tackles – facing constant double-teams.