EDWARDSVILLE • Vincent Valentine made a verbal commitment to the University of Nebraska one week earlier, but he managed to keep it a secret until Signing Day.
Edwardsville's 6-foot-4, 317-pound defensive tackle told the rest of the world during an announcement Wednesday afternoon at Edwardsville's Jon Davis Wrestling Center.
"My head was spinning the whole last week," Valentine said. "I really had to think about everything, put everything in consideration of where I wanted to be. It was very tough. My mind switched on me a couple times, but it just kept going back to Nebraska, so I knew that's where I should be at."
The No. 2 prospect in the Post-Dispatch Super 30 rankings, Valentine had narrowed his options to three schools: Nebraska, Florida and Illinois. After making official visits to all three, he concluded that he wanted to continue his career with the Huskers.
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"This decision was very tough," Valentine said. "I really liked Illinois. They were the home state. I really would love to play for them. The thing that took me to choose Nebraska was the consistency that they have. They consistently win nine, 10 games a year.
"I know if I can go there I can get decent playing time," he added. "I'm really not worried about starting, so that wouldn't be a big deal. I really bonded with the coaches and the staff and just all the team. I really liked those guys. I feel like Nebraska was a great fit for me."
Valentine was a Post-Dispatch first-team All-Metro selection as a senior after he finished with 29 tackles, including eight for loss, with three sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.