— Hank South (@HankSouth247) December 19, 2018
No one knows how to open the Early Signing Period with a bang quite like Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The defending national champions flipped four-star safety Jordan Battle on Wednesday, Ohio State’s top secondary target in the 2019 class to kick-off what is expected to be a special day on the Capstone.
Battle made things official by signing his National Letter of Intent just after 7 a.m. local time at St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Battle is the defensive back latest to flip to the Crimson Tide after Alabama grabbed 5-star safety Dax Hill from Michigan and 4-star cornerback Jeffery Carter from Texas A&M earlier this month.
Battle is the nation’s sixth-best safety and No. 77 player overall according to the 247Sports Composite.
Ohio State’s uneasy situation within its coaching staff with Urban Meyer’s plan to retire after the Rose Bowl was the primary reason Battle chose Alabama. Crimson Tide running backs coach Joe Pannunzio adds another major South Florida commitment to his repertoire after landing 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain II and 4-star cornerback Josh Jobe in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Battle’s player evaluation via 247Sports recruiting analyst Charles Power is impressive: “Good height and length. Has added some solid weight over the course of his career. Good all-around athlete who doubles as a basketball player. Is a key player for one of the nation’s top high school teams. Has performed well on the big stage against top competition. Reliable and versatile. Good instincts and playing speed. Effective as a blitzer and makes plays in the return game. Does a good job reading the quarterback and receivers when in deep coverage. May lack some of the ‘wow factor’ of other top safeties and can improve his striking power. Projects as a multi-year Power 5 starter with the ability to be an impact player and leader of a top defense.”