Travonte Valentine‘s path has, once again, led him back to Baton Rouge.
When last we left the once-touted recruit, Valentine was two passed classes away from a return to LSU. While the school has yet to confirm it, 247Sports.com is reporting that Valentine is back on campus and will begin practicing with his new/old teammates.
Not only that, but the defensive lineman will be immediately eligible for the 2016 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“I want to focus on my three years at LSU to graduate and hopefully win a few National Championships,” the lineman told the recruiting website. “I’ve matured as a man since I left and want to prove myself to the wonderful fans at LSU.”
With the return all but official, it marks the continuation of a lengthy — and bumpy — odyssey for the touted tackle.
After signing with the Tigers in February of 2014, Valentine dealt with NCAA Clearinghouse issues — the player said another SEC program was the root cause — that forced him to miss the start of summer camp his true freshman season. While he was ultimately cleared to practice, he was not permitted to play in any games because of the lingering academic issues.
Then in April of last year, head coach Les Miles confirmed that Valentine had been suspended, with the specific reason being, again, academics. At the time of hisdeparture from the program last July, it was reported that Valentine, in addition to the academic issues, had failed multiple drug tests.
In January, Valentine expressed hope that Miles would give him another shot with his football team.
A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Valentine was rated as the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Florida.