Battle Hearing From Duke & Others

Duke has enjoyed success on the recruiting trail in the western half of the state over the last few years. In the class of 2011 they are looking to continue that run with the recruitment of several top players including Lenoir (N.C.) West Caldwell standout linebacker Jeff Battle.

"My top schools are Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, and East Carolina," said Jeff Battle. "The important factors in my decision will be where I can get a good education, and what kind of coaching staff the school has. I'm not worried about things like early playing time and location."

Battle, a 6-foot-1, 190 pound prospect currently plays safety and outside linebacker for West Caldwell. However, given his size and seed each of the schools have told him he'll transition to the outside linebacker slot at the next level. Such a move fits his game just fine.

"I think my strengths as a player are my lateral movement and I have great tackling and hitting ability. I try to be a very aggressive player, and to lead my team on and off the field. It's important to do the preparation like watching film and to push yourself and others at practice."

Which is why Battle has earned such interest from the Duke coaching staff who have already invited him for a visit and begun the recruiting pitch. As has been a custom for in-state recruiting for the last few seasons, it was the Blue Devil coaching staff who kicked off this talented North Carolina native's recruiting.

"The recruiting process really started when I went to Duke for a visit earlier this year. Then, in March, I went up to North Carolina. Those are the two schools I have talked to the most. I talk to each of them a few times a week. For UNC my coach is Allen Mogridge and for Duke it's Zach Roper. At Wake Forest it's Coach Lobotzke."

Duke's recruiting approach is a familiar one, but given the recent results on the field there appears to be more bite this year as the Blue Devils continue to make their mark on in-state recruits.

"They have told me they want to bring in players with great character and personality…people who will come in and be hard workers. On my Junior Day I got a chance to talk to Coach Cutcliffe, and since then I've talked to him three or four times on the phone. One thing you get from there early on is the family atmosphere there. They really show they care about you and your family."

"We talked about last season's progress and I really believe that program is on the rise. When I visited I was impressed with how beautiful the campus is and how great the coaching staff is. They are really great people and they care about Duke and their players."

As a junior Battle recorded 103 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 pass deflections, 1 interception. And while West Caldwell didn't earn the record he'd want, Battle was named to the 2nd Team All-Conference squad and the all-county 1st team.

In the weight room Battle has a bench press max of 260 pounds, a max squat of 385, a 33 inch vertical jump, and a personal best shuttle run of 4.29.

Off the field he maintains a 4.3 grade point average and is thinking of majoring in Pharmacy.

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