What's remarkable about Battle's ability to provide sound play at any of the secondary positions is the fact that he came to Tennessee from Los Angeles Valley Community College with only three games experience as a defensive back. As a freshman, he was an all-conference wide receiver and continued in that role as a sophomore until late in the year when he was switched to cornerback to fill a gap.
During this brief stint at corner, he impressed college scouts with his size, speed, strength and ability to transition in man coverage. During his two seasons at Tennessee, he has been effective wherever he has played and he has been perhaps the most durable member of the defense. In two seasons Battle has recorded 123 total tackles in 23 games, including nine this season against Florida.
Battle is the only member of the starting secondary this season not to miss time due to injury and if Jabari Greer can' start on Saturday against Kentucky, he will be the only starter left from the four that began the 2002 campaign.
Slated for duty at cornerback against Kentucky, Battle will be called upon to shut down Derek Abney and provide run support against SEC rush leader Artose Pinner. He could also stunt from either the corner or strong safety to get pressure on Jared Lorenzen.
Most of all, Battle can help imbue the defense with the energy and confidence it needs to take on Kentucky's versatile attack. He has only been at Tennessee for two seasons but is likely the best junior college player the Vols have had since Dale Carter left in 1991.
It may be another decade or more before UT fans see Battle's equal in the secondary, and they should savor this last chance to watch a standout player who appears headed to NFL stardom.