Honors & Awards
» Honorable-Mention Big Ten All-Freshman Team (BTN, 2013)
Sophomore Vincent Valentine is part of an impressive group of young players on the Nebraska defensive front and showed his potential in his first year of action in 2013. A year after Valentine and his young defensive line teammates worked through growing pains, the group is ready to make defensive tackle a position of strength this fall.
Valentine solidified a spot with the top defense in the spring, but Nebraska also returns several players with game experience, meaning the competition at defensive tackle will continue into fall camp.
The 6-3, 320-pound Valentine was part of the regular defensive tackle rotation throughout 2013, and played his best football in the final few games of the season. Valentine spent the offseason continuing to make strides in the Husker weight room and appears ready for big things in 2014 and beyond.
2013 (Redshirt Freshman)
Valentine played in all 13 games with six starts, including the first four games and the final two contests of the regular season. Valentine finished with 21 tackles, including 11 solo stops. He added five tackles for loss and a sack. He opened the year with four tackles against Wyoming and then was at his best in the final two games of the regular season.
Valentine had eight tackles combined against Penn State and Iowa, including a season-high five stops against the Hawkeyes. He also had three of his five tackles for loss in the last two games. He had two TFLs against Iowa, including an eight-yard sack.
Valentine redshirted in his first season in the program in 2012.
Before Nebraska (Edwardsville HS)
Valentine was one of four defensive linemen in NU’s 2012 signing class, and he and fellow Illinois product Jordan Westerkamp gave NU two signees from that state for the first time since 2004. Valentine was a second-team all-state, all-class pick in Illinois by the Chicago Tribune as a senior. Valentine had 35 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, and three sacks for Edwardsville, helping Coach Matt Martin’s team to a 5-5 record and a trip to the Illinois state playoffs. Valentine was also chosen as a first-team Class 7A all-state performer by the Illinois High School Coaches Association, and earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors for the second straight season.
As a junior, Valentine made 33 tackles, while adding two sacks, forcing two fumbles and recovering a fumble. Valentine was also a starter as a sophomore when he racked up 29 tackles, two sacks and had a fumble recovery. Valentine was ranked among the nation’s top 50 defensive tackles by both Rivals.com and 247 Sports, and both services ranked him among the top 15 overall prospects in the state of Illinois. Valentine chose Nebraska over Florida and Illinois, and had dozens of other offers including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the Big Ten.