There were few linebackers in the state more productive in 2006 than SW Edgecombe's Sam Battle. Although some analysts consider him undersized at 5-10, 235 pounds, Battle proved he was more than capable on the football field as he amassed 140 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception en route to all-county and all-conference honors as well as being named the Wilson Daily Times defensive player of the year. He was also nominated for the Shrine Bowl and earned class 3A all-state honors.
Recruiting has become mostly a one-horse race for Battle has he has set his sights squarely on playing for NC State. Pack Pride caught up with him for the latest.
"I had a chance to talk to coach Cignetti a while back and he said he wanted me to come in for an official visit on February 2nd," said Battle. "I met coach O'Brien down at the Shrine Bowl but I couldn't talk to him because of the NCAA rules. I'm looking forward to talking to him though."
Battle said the Pack is alone at the top of his wish list and he's hoping for an NC State offer at some point.
"State is where I want to go," he said. "They're my top school. I've been liking NC State since my sophomore year when coach Diaz was there. I made it to three games this year and that crowd was always crazy even though they had a bad year. Maybe next year they'll have a better season."
Battle has been hard at work to improve his academic standing and hopes to qualify in time to enroll in college in 2007. If for some reason that doesn't work out, the senior ‘backer has a backup plan.
"I've already heard from the coach at Hargrave, and he told me if I don't qualify, they've got a spot for me up at Hargrave."