Battle has the “Complete Package”
By Matt Osborne
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As we, as a society, continue to earnestly cling to the collegiate decisions of the nation’s elite high school football players, John Battle serves as a prime example of what it means to be successful not just in football, but in life.
We often hear college football coaches' comments on their quest to find high prospects who are the “complete package” – the perfect blend of character and intelligence away from the football field, and tenacity and athleticism on the gridiron.
Rarely, however, are coaches able to find elite prospects who thoroughly meet the qualifications to be considered the “complete package”. The bottom-line reality of college football is that you must win in order to retain your job.
Unfortunately, that frequently means cutting certain corners in order to bring in the cream of the crop in the athletic spectrum.
LSU defensive back commit John Battle is not your typical modern day high school prospect, though.
In a day and age where academics and personal achievements away from the playing field are too frequently put on the proverbial back-burner, Battle exemplifies what it means to be the “complete package”.
Receiving offers from many of the nation’s elite football powerhouses, including Florida State, Ohio State and South Carolina, Battle’s prowess on the football field was never in question. A six-foot-one, 185-pound, hard-hitting safety, Battle is poised to become the latest premier defensive back to come out of the LSU program.
What separates Battle from the average high school prospect, rather, is his ambition and accomplishments away from the field.
Boasting a 3.5 GPA at Hallandale High School in Florida, Battle has dreams of ultimately ending up in the radio business. It was an ambition and a dream which led to him his being abnormally proactive for a high school senior.
“I did an internship with [radio legend Larry Blustein] over the summer and he taught me the ropes,” Battle commented on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. “So now I have started my own business, a broadcast company called “Battle Between the Lines”, and I just cover most local high school sports when my season is over. I do some track stuff, or I’ll go out there and record some basketball games or even some all-star games if I’m not involved, and I record it, come back and edit it up and make a highlight of it. I put it out on YouTube, Facebook and things like that, other social medias.”
And while LSU undeniably has a rich tradition of placing defensive backs in the National Football League, Battle’s decision to enroll at Baton Rouge was not motivated by athletic factors as much as it was to further his education and enjoy the overall campus environment.
“Just when I visited campus, I just fell in love with the football facility and just the school itself,” Battle continued. “I want to major in broadcasting and communications and hopefully I can get in the radio business someday. Just the school itself got my attention.”
Battle’s ability to think long-term is a breath of fresh air in a modern climate where the overall development of young men seems to be a secondary priority.
As we, as a society, continue to earnestly cling to the collegiate decisions of the nation’s elite high school football players, Battle serves as a prime example of what it means to be successful not just in football, but in life.
But don’t take his extreme focus away from the gridiron to mean that he has lost any of his drive to succeed as a football player.
Battle is still very much looking forward to the opportunity to become a difference-maker for Les Miles’ program in Baton Rouge.
“I just want to come in and learn the ropes and just try to be one of those impact players as a freshman and do big things for the university, on and off the field.”