Battle receives offer from Louisville

One of the top juniors in Georgia looked to be Jonathan Battle as the 2009 season began, but shortly into the season, he tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the season. Offers were expected over the fall and they didn't come, but he got the news recently that the first offer was in.

Louisville has offered me and it feels good, really good," said Jonathan Battle. "My coach gave me the letter and I was shocked when I looked it at because on the very front of it, it said offer. I felt good about it and I was really excited about it."

"I have been getting a letter from them every now and then, but nothing too much. Some other schools have been showing a lot more interest than them. I was just walking into weight training and my coach told me I had my first offer and I never would have guessed it being from Louisville."

Battle didn't really care who it was that offered him, he just wanted to get one in and he hopes others now follow. He has tried to stay positive about recruiting through the injury, but he knew it was going to push things back a little.

"I see now that colleges still have hope in and still believe in me even though I tore my ACL last year. Louisville seems to be very interested in me, they stepped up and offered me a scholarship, and it really gives me some hope."

As he continues to recover, more schools are still showing a lot of interest. When asked about the schools he hears from the most, Georgia Tech and Georgia were the first two schools he listed and then he said Auburn and Alabama have shown some interest as well.

He has visited both Atlanta and Athens already in 2010 and he talks about the trips here.

"I liked it up there at Georgia Tech. They seem to be very down to earth and I like the school. What caught my eye the most though was that about one out of every six students that graduate from there becomes a millionaire, so that really sparked a lot of interest. I like their campus a lot too."

"I just went to Georgia a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty good up there. I got some love from them up there and I liked it. They are concerned about me rehabbing my knee first and when that gets back to normal, then they said we would take the next step in recruiting. I really like the coaches and the stadium at Georgia."

The 6-foot-1, 273 pound defensive tackle out of Americus (GA) has a lot of interest in the in-state schools, but the Cardinals being first to offer have put them right there with the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs.

Jonathan Battle
Battle's excited about first offer.
"I am looking for a family like atmosphere in a college and I know Georgia and Georgia Tech are concerned about the health of my knee, but Louisville overlooked that and offered me anyway because they believe I can help them," said Battle. "They understand that I can play football pretty good and they think I will come back from this injury as good or better than I was before. I have not done a lot of research on them, so I don't know a lot about them, but I am going to really start looking at them now. They are first to offer me, so they are pretty special to me now. I am pretty interested."

The South Georgia DL is still about three months away from being fully cleared, but he is training hard every day like he is returning to action tomorrow.

He had a hard time at first understanding the injury and why it happened to him, but after digesting it and attacking the rehab to be a better player down the road, Battle looks at life a little bit differently.

"It just showed me how important getting an education really is. You just do not know when something is going to happen to you on the football field. When I got hurt that day, that could have been my last play ever. I did not know if I would play again. I am coming back and I am on track to play again now, but I know I need to start taking my education a little more seriously and know that I need it no matter what."

The ACL tear has given him a little different perspective on life, but it has not changed his mentality on the football field. Battle is a very explosive defensive lineman with a great burst off the ball and he can't wait to show people later on this fall that he still has that burst.

"I am so hungry to get back on the field, but I am waiting for the doctors to tell me it is ok to go. I know I will sit out this spring, but I will be starting to jog here soon and just preparing myself for a big senior season. I am confident that I will come back very strong, I am working hard in the weight room, and I am really excited to get out there show everyone I can still get the job done."


Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Manager for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.

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