UPDATE: ESPN Watch List recruit Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) trimmed his list of schools by one. Mississippi State is no longer among his favorites. A leader has emerged in this recruiting battle.
Alabama, Miami and Tennessee comprise Valentine's top three schools, and he favors the local program.
"Miami is in the lead," Valentine told Matt Shodell of CaneSport.com.
A commitment could come earlier than expected due to his fondness for Miami.
"I love Miami and if I had to pull the trigger for how I feel about Miami I will," Valentine said. "But right now I just have to stay calm, stay focused and see where this path will go."
Tavonte Valentine has 16 offers, but four of those stand out for the defensive tackle. And an in-state program could be the early leader for his services.
"Valentine says his leading schools are (Miami), Florida State, Mississippi State and Tennessee," Matt Shodell of CaneSport.com reported.
Miami appears to have an early edge in this recruiting battle.
"Miami's high on my list," Valentine said. "I've been thinking about Miami for a long time."
A decision isn't coming soon. Valentine already has a date earmarked to make his announcement. He announce his choice of schools Nov. 15 -- his birthday.