The Buckeyes did all they could, but Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back has flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Alabama. Battle had been committed to Ohio State since June 29, 2018.
Battle committed to Urban Meyer, but Meyer is retiring after the Rose Bowl in January and that along with Nick Saban and Alabama moving in has caused Battle to flip. Ryan Day is taking over the Ohio State program, but Day never really had a great opportunity to keep Battle in the fold. Battle and his father were impressed with Day and what he did when he was the acting head coach for the first three games of the season while Meyer was on suspension, but it just wasn’t enough to give Day and Ohio State assistant coaches Greg Schiano, Alex Grinch and Taver Johnson a real chance.
And even before Meyer announced his retirement Battle was looking around as he made official visits to Oklahoma, Miami and Alabama.
The 6-foot-1 and 187-pound Battle played safety during his senior season, but prefers cornerback and that is what the Buckeyes were recruiting him as. But Alabama has let Battle know they will give him a shot at cornerback too.
Battle is a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He is the country’s No. 95 overall prospect, the No. 6 safety, and the No. 13 prospect in Florida.
With the defection of Battle, 2020 cornerback recruiting becomes an absolutely huge priority for Day and the Ohio State coaching staff. The Buckeyes have commitments from two cornerbacks, but neither is a pure corner – both will likely play safety for the Buckeyes. The good news is the Buckeyes are high on the list of a number of top 2020 cornerbacks. They will need to translate that into landing a number of them including bringing Lejond Cavazos back into the fold. Cavazos decommitted from Ohio State but is definitely still considering the Buckeyes.
With the loss of Battle the Buckeyes now have 15 class of 2019 verbal commitments. The 15 are quarterback Dwan Mathis, running backs Steele Chambers and Marcus Crowley, wide receivers Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams, tight end and H-back Cormontae Hamilton, offensive linemen Harry Miller, Doug Nester and Ryan Jacoby, defensive end Noah Potter, linebackers Cade Stover and Tommy Eichenberg, safety/athletes Ronnie Hickman and Bryson Shaw, and athlete Craig Young.
The Buckeyes also have five class of 2020 commitments. The five are quarterback Jack Miller, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, running back Darvon Hubbard, offensive tackle Paris Johnson, and center/guard Luke Wypler. It is a class that is currently ranked No. 4 in the country in the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings.
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