Prized LSU defensive tackle Travonte Valentine transferring after never playing for Tigers _lowres

Champagnat's Nathaniel Holloway (31) and Travonte Valentine (75) chase after Victory Christian quarterback Caleb Lewis (2) as he scrambles during the first half of the FHSAA Football Class 2A Finals in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.(Special to the


HOOVER, Ala. – LSU four star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine will leave Baton Rouge having never played a down.

Valentine, the Tigers’ 350-pound former highly rated recruit, is transferring, LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette confirmed to The Advocate on Wednesday.

Valentine, a Miami native, was never ruled eligible by the NCAA for a game last season, and he did not participate in spring practice while serving what seemed to be an academic suspension.

LSU coach Les Miles said after the spring game in April that Valentine had to “do some things academically that he failed to do. We’re doing everything we can to assist him.”

Valentine did not immediately return a message for comment Wednesday. Miles will make his appearance here at Southeastern Conference media day Thursday afternoon.

A junior college news website reported that Valentine will transfer to Arizona Western Community College.

Valentine, a former high school All-American, was expected to contribute immediately last season as a freshman on LSU’s 2014 No. 2-ranked signing class, but he was never cleared to play in a game. He practiced with the team in the fall before being suspended in the spring.

It’s another happening in an eventful off-season for the Tigers.

Valentine is the third player from LSU’s ’14 signing class to leave the school in some way this off-season. He joins defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao, dismissed recently after a second arrest in a year, and linebacker Clifton Garrett, who transferred to junior college.

Another player from that signing class, offensive lineman Jevonte Domond, remains suspended after his arrest in May on a felony domestic abuse battery.

Three more LSU players are suspended after being arrested for unauthorized entry into a dwelling in June, including quarterback Anthony Jennings, defensive lineman Marquedius Bain and defensive back Dwayne Thomas. The players allegedly walked into a fellow student’s apartment to retrieve items they claim were stolen from Jennings earlier.

Thomas was also booked on a simple burglary charge. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore has not formally charged any of the four suspended players.