If it wasn’t the sheer ball hawking play over the middle, it was the finger wag in the direction of QB Joey Gatewood as he took the interception back the other way. Carrington Valentine put a punctuation on a banner offseason that has impressed the coaching staff.

At Fan Day on Saturday, Valentine stepped in front of a pass from Gatewood and picked it off in one of the more impressive plays of the workout.

Jeff Drummond of Cats Illustrated noted after the interception: “Staff has been praising CB Carrington Valentine all spring and summer as possible breakout player on D. Just made best play of Fan Day practice to date, picking off Gatewood’s laser across the middle and going the other way with it. Serious ballhawk action on that one.”

The sophomore out of Cincinnati, Ohio has really come on since the bowl game last season. He saw action in 10 games last season including a start against NC State in the Gator Bowl. He made 10 tackles, a pass break up and a forced fumble on the season, but had a career-best six tackles and caused a fumble in the win over NC State.