Battisti makes name for himself on the edge

Saddleback is always loaded with talented players, but one of the more unheralded prospects on their roster this past season was DE Mike Battisti (6-3, 245). Even though recruiting services haven't paid much attention to him, Battisti is still hearing from several schools after a very good season for the Gauchos and he's ready to take some trips to check out the programs looking at him.

"It has been pretty busy the past few weeks," Battisti admitted to recently. "Things have really picked up for me. Central Michigan has offered me and New Hampshire actually wants me to visit on February 1st and they said they'll probably offer me on my visit.

"Louisiana Lafayette called and wanted my transcripts and said they liked my film and Oregon State just started calling last week and they may want me to take a visit and Virginia is looking at my film and said they liked me a lot too."

After prepping at Sultana High School in Hesperia, Ca., Battisti didn't get much in the way of recruiting attention.

"I didn't really get many looks because our area isn't really that heavily recruited by schools and our coaches really didn't do much for us so things sort of fell through," Battisti recalled. "I signed with an NAIA school out in Tennessee (Lambuth College), but I wanted to play D-1 ball and being there wasn't really going to help me reach that goal, so after my freshman year there I transferred back here to Saddleback and I think it's worked out pretty well for me."

Battisti showed up expecting to play linebacker for the Gauchos this season, but ended up at defensive end when the need for speed off the edge arose.

"We were so inexperienced at end, our coaches moved me up because they knew I had played end at Lambuth," Battisti said. "I can play with my hand on the ground or rush from a standup position, so it really didn't matter that much to me."

For the season, Battisti finished with 35 tackles, five sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

"I'll play whatever teams want me to play," Battisti said. "I just want to get the chance to play D-1 and show that I can play at the highest level."

Because he falls under the "4-2-4" rule, Battisti must complete his AA degree before he transfers and he expects to finish that in May.

Wherever he ends up he'll have three years to play two the moment he steps on campus.

We'll continue to follow Battisti's progress over the next few weeks and update things as they change.

Mike Battisti Scout Profile

JC Football Top Stories