While Brian Kelly made a splash on the offensive side of the ball he also didn't forget about signing some top defensive players that will play key roles in the team's future success. While not every player will be graded out as an "A" you'll find some very high marks for many.
Dominique Battle: Safety / Corner
Bearcat fans know the loss on the defensive side of the football from the 2007 and 2008 teams make signing top quality defensive talent a must. Brian Kelly has done just that with his signing of Dominique Battle of American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Florida.
Watch film of Battle and come away very impressed as he flies across the field and shows the willingness to stick his nose right in the middle of the action. Hard hits from a player coming at full speed make for some giant hits on offensive players. But that is not all that makes Battle a top player.
Battle shows the ability to cover while getting in position to keep receivers away from making the catch. He can adjust well with the ball in the air and is not afraid to go up and take it at its highest point. But while this would be enough to most, Dominique can also field kicks and bring them back for positive yardage if not scores.
The other thing that really impresses me is the body control showed. Anytime a defender can control his hips and feet he's got a great chance to make plays.
Strengths: Body control, Explosion from the hips
Weakness: Coverage awareness
Star, Solid Player, Role Player
Dominique Battle will be asked early in his career to get on the field. With the loss of top quality players in the defensive backfield Battle will need to learn early and could see himself on the field as a freshman. Battle = Star
Don't look at numbers posted on any website about what type of speed Dominique Battle has. He's got great football speed and the ability to make things happen with the ball in or out of his hands. Much like Mike Mickens, Battle shows the ability and willingness to come up and lay some smack on receivers and running backs. This is needed at the college level.
Video Highlight Clip