The uncertainty is over after Rashawn Battle finally shook hands Thursday night with new Rutgers coach Chris Ash. Battle felt strongly toward Rutgers before the coaching change but the dead period proved stressful for his family because of a new staff.
The Rutgers linebacker commit said Thursday night that his first meeting with Ash and defensive coordinator Jay Niemann has him solidly committed.
"Everything sounds right and the future of Rutgers is really bright," Battle said. "I feel more settled down now that I was able to meet the defensive cooridnator and coach Ash. What they said to me made me feel really good about Rutgers again. At first I was a little bit lost because I didn't know what was going on with all of the changes in such a small amount of time. ... I'm very solid to Rutgers as of right now. That's the school I wanted to go to since day one and it feels great to be able to be back on track."
Battle took a backseat during the dead period because of the confusion after coach Kyle Flood's Rutgers dismissal. He spoke on the phone with Ash but did not want to make any decisions until they met in person.
"I'm very relieved," Battle said. "After the home visit and everything, it's a huge lift off my shoulders. I feel more settled and comfortable with everything. [My mom] was very excited to meet coach Ash. As well, she was confused with everything going on, so she wanted to make sure I was good. She loved coach Ash. She had a nice 1-on-1 talk with him."
"They love my film and the way I play," he said. "They're very excited to have me at Rutgers. Coach Ash told me about how he wants to make things bigger than they were at Rutgers -- better and bigger for Rutgers. ... I'm a guy who plays defense so having a coach who was a defensive coordinator and now my head coach means a lot to me."
California, Temple and Indiana all recruited Battle for official visits but the in-home with Ash and Niemann likely spells the end of other schools' involvements.
"I probably talked with coach Niemann a couple of hours today and he seems like a good guy with the best interests of Rashawn in mind," said Wallenpaupack head coach Mark Watson. "Talking to Rashawn after they left, he feels very comfortable. It sounds like it was a success. ... After today, I think we can put all of that to rest. I think he's back on track with Rutgers."
Battle officially visits Rutgers Jan. 29.