The recruiting process has many ups and downs to go with twists and turns. Making a college decision often leaves prospects unfocused on their current task. For Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller standout Carrington Valentine, making his college commitment now was very important.
“At first, when I received my first offer, I was like, OH and then WOW!!!,” said Valentine. “The goal from the beginning was to get college paid for. But once I received the next couple of offers, I knew I would get to pick where I wanted to go.
“Then, when it started to trickle down at the end, it started getting stressful as I had a lot of colleges that wanted me. From the start it was always about trying to find the right fit for me, so that was the major thing.
With the official start of the Ohio high school season upon Carrington, he knew it was time to end the process to place all his focus on what’s important right now.
“It was important that I got my commitment out of the way,” said the First Star Football Report four-star prospect. “I didn’t want to commit during the season and take away from my team. I want to be totally focused on playing my last year of high school football and on my team.”
As one of the top prospects in Ohio, Valentine knows his game is still a work in progress.
“I feel from my junior season I improved on learning the position and what my responsibilities were,” he said. “Going into my senior season, I’ve picked up more technique and continue to learn more about the game.
“Going into college, I’ll need to keep working on technique while also getting physically stronger and learning a new scheme.”
In the end there was four programs in the running to secure the 6-foot, 178-pound corner.
“It was down to Kentucky, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Boston College,” he said. “I liked Kentucky a lot because it was close to home. I’m only about an hour and fifteen minutes from my home. It’s also Southeastern Conference football.”
How did his family feel about his decision of the Wildcats?
“When I told my family, I was going to Kentucky, they told me they were very happy for me and would support me wherever I chose,” continued Valentine. “So, thy were on board on where I wanted to go.”
While former Moeller tight end Brenden Bates is currently on the Wildcats roster. A different Wildcat played a major role in showing Valentine the ends and outs of the program.
“I got to talk with Moses Douglass about things to be honest,” explained Valentine. “I got to know the other players because of him. I also got to know Coach (Mark) Stoops and the other coaches, especially Coach (Steve) Clinkscale because of him.
“Towards the end of my recruitment, I knew Kentucky was where I wanted to be. I have a lot of respect for all the coaches that recruited me and want to keep my relationship with them. However, with Coach Stoops, he’s a defensive backs coach by trade. But it wasn’t about football that sold me.
“Coach Stoops talked about how he’ll help me with life and that was a big positive.”
Another major factor when talking with any Ohio prospect that selects the Wildcats is the influence of Coach Vince Marrow.
“Coach Marrow is a good man and I really respect him,” continued Valentine. “He really opened my eyes on what I could gain from being at the University of Kentucky.”
Using social media to announce his pledge to the Wildcats. Valentine gave credit to where it was due.
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“My sisters’ friends are video/camera people,” he explained. “They really know what they are doing, and it was important to show what Moeller is all about with the school’s history and work ethic.”
Last season the Crusaders enjoyed a successful season under head coach Doug Rosfeld. However, Rosfeld left after the season to take a job with the Cincinnati Bengals and many are wondering how the program will respond under new head coach Todd Naumann.
“Everything is really exciting and not too different,” said Valentine. “Coach Naumann has the same coaching base and what he expects out of us. We’re all working hard and working towards our season opener on August 31-st against Indianapolis Cathedral.”
Valentine will be looked upon for senior leadership but don’t expect him to change his approach.
“I’m looking to keep everyone in line and for us to play football for 15 weeks,” he said. “I’m not a big motivational speaker type of leader. “I’m more of a lead by example type of leader.”
As for when Valentine will look to report at Kentucky, he’s still got things to think about before deciding.
“Right now, I’m undecided on that,” he stressed. “Moeller has a way to graduate early, but I’m not sure I would want to do that.”
Recently Moeller enjoyed watching one of their own experience some great athletic success when Jaxson Hayes was drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft. How did watching Hayes prove those who may have doubted him while in high school make Valentine feel?
“I was very happy for Jaxson as he worked very hard for that moment,” he said. “I knew he was big time when I saw him in high school.”
While Valentine can now look back at the overall process of recruiting. He knows it doesn’t matter how many stars are beside your name once you leave high school.
“To me, the whole recruiting star stuff doesn’t really matter,” he stressed. “All that matters is what you do on and off the field going forward.”