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Carrington Valentine looks to become a leader in Kentucky’s secondary

The junior corner will rely on his experience in Kentucky’s secondary.

Carrington Valentine Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

From the time he arrived on campus, Carrington Valentine has been asked to be a significant contributor in the Kentucky Wildcats secondary.

Going into his junior season, Valentine will lean on that experience as he leads a Wildcats group with several new faces.

Carrington Valentine

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Class: Junior
  • Measurements: 6-feet, 194 lbs.
  • Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • School: Moeller
  • Recruiting Rankings: Was ranked as a 3-star recruit and the No. 91 cornerback in the country by 247 Sports Composite.

Carrington Valentine arrived at the University of Kentucky in 2020 and saw action in 10 games his freshman season. He got his first start in Kentucky’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl win over NC State, with an impressive performance where he finished with six tackles and forced a fumble.

That led to a starting role in his sophomore season, in which he started 12 of 13 games and finished fourth on the team in tackles to go along with a sack and five pass breakups, which tied for third on the team.

Now going into his junior season, Valentine will look to build off that solid sophomore campaign and be a key figure in Kentucky’s secondary.

After losing Vito Tisdale to an injury, Kentucky has brought in multiple newcomers to the secondary through the transfer portal, but Valentine will be asked to be a major contributor and a leader in that unit with his experience in the Wildcats’ system.

A shortened season in 2020 provided Valentine with a crash-course welcome to the SEC. Valentine had more of a proper welcome last season, and this upcoming season could serve as an opportunity to really shine with a full offseason to get stronger and improve his game.

Thus far into fall camp, Valentine has been one of the biggest risers on defense. That included an interception of Will Levis in the Fan Day practice to go with several pass breakups.

“We need him to continue to elevate. The things you see him working on today - Day 1 - he has more confidence, and he’s playing with more patience,” Stoops said of Valentine at Media Day.

If you’re looking for a breakout candidate on the defensive side of the ball, Carrington Valentine would be a solid pick. You should hear his name called often this season.