Varsity Preps

2015 Watch List ATH Hearing from the Canes

2015 Watch List ATH Valantino Jean (5’11, 185, 4.4) of Stranahan High in Ft. Lauderdale, FL doesn’t claim any offers currently, but is hearing frequently from Miami, Penn St., Cincinnati, South Florida, and Central Florida.

The Hurricanes are showing the most interest according to Jean.

“I have over 15 letters from them. The letters say the staff wants me to register for their camp, asking me about my major which will be marine biology,” he shared. “I also have five handwritten letters from them saying they’re interested in my talents and performance on the field.”

Jean will attend an Al Golden camp this summer, along with dates for Florida St., USF, and UCF. He’ll also participate for the Florida Fire 7-on-7 team this spring. In addition, he’ll run track for Stranahan, running in the 100M, 200M, and 4x100M events.

His personal best time in the 100M is 10.9 seconds.

This season, the junior standout said he felt like he improved on his overall strength and tackling.

“I feel like all my work in the weight room paid off, I missed less tackles and I was able to make more plays because I was physically prepared.”

When choosing a program, early playing time will factor into his choice.

“I think so. I’d like to contribute early for the university I choose.”

His position, whether it be offense or defense, won’t effect his decision.

“I’m open to playing on either side of the ball, so that really doesn’t make a big difference for me.”

Jean carries a 3.0 GPA and is scheduled to take the ACT in February.

Willie Hill, head coach of the Stranahan Dragons, told Varsity Preps that Jean’s decision to play football might have literally saved his young life.

“Valantino Jean may be the best example of a kid defeating his odds. He grew up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood, was hanging around the wrong crowd and involved in the wrong things before we met. He had his community thinking he would either end up in a casket or in a cage, which equals zero. That’s why he wears #0. Playing football is personal for him,” said Hill.

“He’s one of the hardest hitting safeties I have seen, but he’ll see time at wideout, and may be the fastest in the state. Defenders better play him 15 yards off.”

— Michael Bradley

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