Jonathan Battle, a three-star defensive tackle from Americus, Ga., will make an official visit to…
Long Comeback Trail
Jonathan Battle, the 6-foot-1, 285-pound three-star defensive tackle from Americus, Ga., suffered a brutal injury last year which he admits he's still trying to bounce back from. During his junior season Battle tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee and required surgery and about 11 months of rehab. "Man, it was a lot of work," Battle said of his rehab. "I just finished it in August. "It was a lot of pain and hard times," he admits. "I just prayed a lot and worked with some of the best people and managed to get through it." Battle says that coming back has been a slow process. "I think I'm doing well now," he said. "But the beginning of the season was hard. It was tough and I wasn't playing too well. It took a few games, but now I finally feel confident in my game again. I'm getting better." Simply being out on the field is satisfaction for Battle. "My doc said that a lot of people don't come back from an injury like this," he admitted. "But I did." Because of his injury, he says a lot of schools have taken a wait-and-see approach, even some of the ones that he previously had offers from like Arkansas, Louisville and Georgia Southern. "I still get letters from Arkansas but we haven't exchanged words in a long time," he admitted. "Louisville is recruiting me a lot though," he said. "They're definitely in the picture. They check in with me all the time." Growing up Battle says he followed Georgia. "That's the in-state school," he said. "I was never like some huge fan, but I knew they were the ones to follow. "They were recruiting me real hard before my injury and probably would've offered," he said. He says the Bulldogs are still recruiting "a little." Another Peach State school that is recruiting Battle is Georgia Tech. This past weekend Battle attended the Florida/South Carolina game and says the Gators have asked for additional game film. "(Tight ends/fullbacks) Coach Brian White keeps in contact," he said. "I loved the game atmosphere there," he said. "I didn't think the game would be so exciting…it was great, except they lost." He says others schools that have recently requested some film are Michigan State and Cincinnati. "I'm hoping one of them offers," he said. "They're all following me." Battle plans to wait it out and see what options he has near signing day. "I'd love to get in and play early and play for a great d-line coach who can help me get better," he said. "I also want to play for a team that is disciplined and sticks together." Battle, ranked as the No. 62 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, has helped lead his team to a 7-4 record with around 65 tackles and seven sacks. Americus heads to Sandy Creek this Friday, Nov. 19. "I like to stay low and have good footwork," he said. "I move great laterally. I'm also an explosive hitter and have good speed for a tackle. I'm also stronger than most guys." He says he could bench 420 pounds and squat 575 before his injury. His best vertical jump is 31-inches. "I want to improve my speed, quickness and footwork," he said. "Right now I'm just working on getting my game back to where it was. I want to work on taking the right angles when tackling and improve my hand technique." Battle plans to major in either physical therapy or computer science. He reports a 3.5 core GPA and a 17 ACT.
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