While NC State commit Linwan Euwell has attracted most of the attention at Southwest Edgecombe High School in Pinetops, NC, another Cougars' standout has emerged with solid college interest.
Linebacker Sam Battle was a monster for Southwest last year, tallying 124 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss and a sack en route to all-conference honors. At 5-11, 230 pounds and running the 40-yard dash in 4.7-seconds, Battle got off to a solid start this year when he collected 12 tackles and two tackles for loss in week one of the 2006 season. He followed that up by leading Southwest Edgecombe past Northwest Edgecombe in week two, as Battle tallied 13 tackles and a blocked punt in the 54-6 rout.
He lines up primarily as a middle linebacker but also moves to defensive end in certain situations. He also has spent time at fullback on the offensive side of the ball.
"I've got a good nose for the ball and really try to focus on my keys," he said. "I'm watching to see if the guard pulls and, if he does, I'm going straight to the running back. I just try to play all out and ferocious."
Currently, Battle is hearing primarily from three in-state schools and it appears the Wolfpack has made a favorable early impression.
"I'm hearing the most from NC State, UNC and East Carolina," said Battle. "With State, I've gone to their football camp the last two years and I just like them. I've talked to coach Dunlap, coach Cignetti and coach Amato and they were great. They really make you feel at home.
"I'm looking at UNC and they're alright. But they came into the picture last.
"I'm also hearing from East Carolina but they're saying they want me to play fullback if I came there."
As for a Wolfpack offer, Battle said the Wolfpack coaches have told him they'll be keeping a close eye on him over the coming weeks.
"We gave them some film," said Battle. "They just told me to keep working hard and they were going to come to my third game to watch me."
Should the Pack decide to pull the trigger on an offer, Battle said it wouldn't take long for him to pull the trigger on a commitment.
"If they offered, I'd most likely commit right then," he said. "I've just been liking State from a long time ago."
Battle hopes to major in Business once in college.