Battle gets ready for possible start

ATHENS — Tra Battle's short career at Georgia has been marked by opportunities seized.

He came to school as an invited walk-on and ended up on the field for the first defensive series of the year. He played so well that he eventually earned a scholarship.

Tra Battle may reach another milestone Saturday. If injured safety Thomas Davis can't play due to ankle and knee sprains, Battle will make his first collegiate start against Kentucky.

"If I do get the chance to start, it'll be the biggest chance to shine I've had since I've been here," said the Mary Persons High School graduate.

Battle replaced Davis midway through the second quarter of the Florida game. His fill-in duty was "adequate," according to secondary coach Willie Martinez.

"He didn't do badly," Coach Mark Richt said. "The good thing is he's a sharp guy, and he was mentally prepared. He's not the biggest guy, but he filled in well for us I think."

Battle, a sophomore who has 14 tackles this year, got burned for one touchdown but his teammates told him to keep his head up, he said.

"They came and talked to me and said, ‘Settle down,'" he said.

He predicted things will go much smoother if he knows he's going to see extended action this week. That's not a definite yet, though. Davis has not been ruled out completely for the Kentucky game.

"We're planning right now as if we might have a chance to get Thomas back," Martinez said.

Davis didn't practice Monday. He walked out of the team's training facility in the afternoon wearing a protective sleeve on his leg but walking under his own power. Battle promised Monday he wouldn't try to trip or otherwise set back Davis to expedite his opportunity.

"I'm not anxious," he said. "I'm just getting prepared."

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