Kevin Kinder\

Elijah Battle's Commitment to West Virginia Keyed By Trip To Campus, In-Home Followup

While junior college cornerback Elijah Battle had West Virginia at the top of his list for a long while, he said that his official visit to the Mountaineer campus was the factor that sealed his commitment.

Battle, a 6-0, 185-pound defensive back from Dodge City Community College, made his official visit to West Virginia in mid-November, and told Jonathan Martin of that the trip met all expectations.

“The visit was very good,” Battle said after returning to his current school. “I enjoyed everything about it. The fans, I loved them. It was a really good atmosphere. It was nice to see them get the win. It’s definitely a place I could see myself at moving forward.”

That trip set the final stage of Battle's recruitment in motion, as he began seriously discussing his choice with his family.

"When I went on the visit, I enjoyed everything," he said after making his commitment known on Sunday. "I wanted to discuss it with my family and think everything over, and we all agreed that it was the best place and best situation for me. The people there, the atmosphere, and they way everyone supports the program were alll great."

Battle committed during a visit from head coach Dana Holgorsen and assistant coach Brian Mitchell, who, along with other coaches, fanned out after the loss to Kansas State to make visits during the current open recruiting period. Battle noted that the loss had absolutely no effect on his decision. He, like most every recruit, understands that their teams can't win every game.

Out of Barringer High School in Newark, N.J., Battle was an undersized linebacker. Although he earned all-conference honors, he understood there probably wasn't a future at linebacker for him at his size, which was then some 15-20 pounds lighter than his current weight. Heading to Dodge City, he knew he would be moving back a level in the defense to safety, but that also quickly changed when he was pushed outside to cornerback to help bolster pass coverage even further. Although that demanded honing of a new skill set, he quickly took to the challenge. He was able to incorporate his ability to read offenses and react quickly into his work at the new position, and quietly built interest from several schools, including primary Divison I contenders WVU and Arizona. In the battle of past and future Mountaineer coaches, West Virginia won out.

“It’s nice to see them play so many guys on the defensive side of the ball,” Battle told Martin after his visit. “It’s clear that if I come there I’ll have an opportunity to play. I still have to work hard but I’ll be given every chance."

Battle confirmed that sentiment after announcing his decision, noting that simply being given the chance to compete is all that he expects. He does think he will have the chance to contribute next fall, and is working to add a few more pounds while keeping his speed and mobility intact. He is scheduled to graduate this month, and plans to enroll at WVU in January, 2016.

2016 WVU Football Verbal Commitments

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