Two-Sport Standout Lavonte Valentine Commits To South Carolina


(Photo by Tyler Copeland)

Lavonte Valentine is one of the top two-sport athletes in the nation. Valentine, a three-star prospect in football and rising senior at East Ridge (Fl.) High, boasts nearly two dozen scholarship offers as the 24th best running back in the country. On the track, he is the 20th fastest 100m returner with his wind-legal mark of 10.52 seconds and won a FHSAA Class 4A state championship with the performance. Recently, he announced he will play both sports at the University of South Carolina. We caught up with him to talk about his decision.

What was the recruiting process like for you?

It was long and a little aggravating to be honest.

Where all did you visit/consider?

I visited LSU and South Carolina and also had Notre Dame and Louisville in my top four. It came down to LSU and South Carolina. LSU has great track and football and it's a nice school. South Carolina my family lives there, I could play as a true freshman, and it is close to home.  

In the end you picked the University of South Carolina. It's still a while from National Signing Day. How solid are you in your decision?

I am very sure about this decision. I talk to the Head Coach (Will Muschamp) every single day. It's not normal for someone to talk to a head coach of a college football program everyday.

In the past you competed for Melbourne Central Catholic, but this year you ran track for East Ridge. What is the plan for your senior year?

I will do both sports at MCC.

How has track helped you in football and vice versa?

Track has made me faster and quicker than everyone. When I'm on the football field I'm too quick for anyone to catch. In football, the weight training makes me stronger which helps me in track.

What are you looking forward to most about being a Gamecock?

I will be doing both sports at the next level. I know at South Carolina I can make a huge impact. It is a dream come true to do both at the level that I have always dreamed of.

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