Battle Makes it Official

New York point guard signs with the Nittany Lions. Battle ranks among the top 25 players at his position in the country and will arrive at Penn State next summer.

Albany, N.Y., high school basketball standout Talor Battle has signed a national letter of intent to play for Penn State and fourth-year head coach Ed DeChellis. Rated the No. 25 point-guard recruit in the nation by Scout.com, the 5-11, 160-pounder made the official announcement at a press conference Wednesday at Bishop Maginn High.

"We are very excited to have Talor join our basketball family," DeChellis said. "He is an outstanding person and an outstanding player. He is extremely quick and fast with the ball and has a tremendous outside shooting touch and a great demeanor on the floor.

"Talor was well coached by Rich Hurley at Bishop Maginn and we are really looking forward to the next four years with him competing in a Penn State uniform and in the Big Ten Conference."

Battle averaged 29.4 points, 5.4 assists and 5.9 rebounds a game in his junior season as he led New York's Section II in scoring and posted two games with 40 or more points. A deadly perimeter shooter, he finished second in the section with 82 three-pointers while hitting nearly 40 percent from behind the arc. He was named the Big 10 Division Player-of-the-Year and earned multiple Player-of-the-Year honors from the Troy Record, Schenectady Gazzette and Fox 23 Sports. He also garnered honorable-mention on the 2006-07 Street & Smith's Boys High School All-America Team and was invited to the Nike All-America Camp last summer.

"I have been kind of anxious for today, but now that it's done I am relieved," Battle said. "Penn State did a really good job of recruiting me. They showed interest from the beginning and even when I was hurt and down in the dumps they were there. They did a great job of staying in contact and coming up to see me. I really like the coaches and they have great facilities, and once I got to know some of the players it just really seemed to fit."

Battle was born in Harrisburg, Pa., living there until age seven, and has many family members still residing in the area. A three-year varsity starter entering his senior season at Maginn, Battle spent one year at Catholic Central High in Troy, N.Y., before moving to Maginn. He helped lead Maginn to a 16-7 record and third place finish in the league last year and will be the centerpiece of a veteran squad that will be among the favorites this year. He recorded his 1,000th career point in early January of last season and is on pace to post well over 2,000 on his career.

"He is very quick in the open floor and applies lots of pressure on defense," Hurley said of his senior guard. "He is always in attack mode and has really increased his range in the last year, so now he can shoot it well from four or five feet behind the line. With his quickness, that makes him a really tough cover. Defenders have to decide if they want to back off or not.

"He's very unselfish and very athletic. I think Penn State fans will be surprised when he gets in the open floor and at 5-11 throws down a dunk instead of laying it in. He's really become a great playmaker and passer. The two greatest plays he made last year where at the ends of games when he drew two or three defenders and dumped the ball off to his teammates for the winning shot."

Battle also excels in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, he carries over a 90 percent average in the classroom and is enrolled in advanced placement classes.

Penn State has one more grant to give in this class. The early signing period runs through next Wedneday.

FOUR WRESTLERS SIGN WITH LIONS

Four of the nation’s top high school wrestlers have signed national letters of intent to attend Penn State and continue their collegiate wrestling careers with the Nittany Lion wrestlers. Fresh off two straight years of highly-ranked recruiting classes, head coach Troy Sunderland is once again putting together a talented class.

Tim Darling (Nazareth, Pa.): Ranked No. 2 nationally by Amateur Wrestling News at 152 pounds, is a two-time Pennsylvania state champion from Nazareth High School. A four-year starter for head coach Dave Crowell, Darling also placed third at states as a freshman. He is the son of Bob and Kathi Darling and will be making a run at his third state title this season. He enters his senior year with a 123-10 career record.

Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.). Ranked No. 2 nationally by AWN at 140 pounds, is a two-time New Jersey state champion. A superb wrestler for Souther Regional High School and head coach John Stout, Molinaro is working towards a third state title this year. He is the son of Frank and Michele Molinaro and sports a 109-4 career record at SRHS.

Jared Platt (Randolph, N.J.): Ranked No. 2 nationally by AWN at 215 pounds, is the defending national prep champion. Wrestling at the Blair Academy for head coach Jeff Buxton, Platt was also the runner-up at Junior Nationals. He is the son of John and Tracey Platt and sports a 93-10 career record.

Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio): Ranked No. 2 nationally by AWN at 275 pounds, is a two time Ohio state champion from St. Peter Chanel High School. Wade was runner up at Junior Nationals and Cade Nationals as well. Wade will be going for a third state title for head coach Graham Goghill. He is the son of Kevin and Trish Wade and sports a 104-25 career record.

“We’re pleased and excited to welcome four of the top wrestlers in the country and their families to the Penn State wrestling family,” Sunderland said. “It’s a tribute to the hard work of the assistant coaches and our support staff that we have once again attracted such outstanding young men to our program. These young men and their families felt a strong connection to our team and saw the commitment that Penn State has to wrestling in our new facilities. These four wrestlers want to win multiple team and individual titles here at Penn State and those goals mesh perfectly with the goals of their future teammates.”

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