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88 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Dayton Valentine

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In which BracketCat counts down the 88th day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of tight end Dayton Valentine.

#88 Dayton Valentine
Quite possibly, Dayton Valentine’s (88) best catch last season actually was this pass breakup, with the deflection caught by Byron Pringle (9) for a touchdown. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

#88 Dayton Valentine

Redshirt Junior | 6-4 | 264 lbs. | Baldwin City, Kansas
Dayton Valentine
Dayton Valentine
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Tight End
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Dayton Lee Valentine (b. March 25, 1995) is a physical player who was a significant contributor to K-State’s run blocking in 2016. He will look to retain his starting duties at tight end as a junior and has been voted a team captain for the 2017 season.

Valentine originally signed with K-State in 2013 as a grayshirt before redshirting during the 2014 season. He saw significant time at tight end as a redshirt freshman in 2015.

During the 2015 season, Valentine played in 11 games, with starts against Texas, Texas Tech and Iowa State, and recorded a pair of tackles on punt coverage. He started all 13 games at tight end last year en route to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches and also was named a first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.

Valentine caught two passes for 8 yards in 2016, but he made his biggest mark in run blocking as he helped K-State set the school record for rushing yards per carry (5.27), rank third in school history in total rushing yards (3,013) and rushing yards per game (231.8), and seventh in rushing touchdowns (39). In all, he helped to block for an offense that ranked sixth nationally in rushing touchdowns.

Valentine previously played under head coach Mike Berg at Baldwin High School, where he helped the Bulldogs to earn a 7-4 record during his senior season in 2012 as they advanced to the second round of the Kansas Class 4A state playoffs.

Valentine was selected to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl. He was named a first-team All-State Class 4A defensive end by The Topeka Capital-Journal and an honorable-mention all-state selection by The Wichita Eagle. He also was a star in track and field, winning the Class 4A state championship in discus and shot put as a junior.