December 21, 2006

Battles picks up first offer

After throwing for 780 yards and running for 850 junior quarterback/athlete Sal Battles has emerged as one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder from Youngstown Rayen already has heard from schools like Ohio State, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

On Tuesday he received a big surprise.

"Coach (Brian) Shaner got a message from Kent State that said that they offered me," Battles said. "It came out of the blue. They saw my highlight tape when they were watching Tomaz Hilton on tape and wondered who the quarterback was that was throwing the ball to him. They liked it and offered."

The offer from Kent State was his first, but several other schools have been taking a hard look at the talented prospect.

"Coach (Jim) Tressel came to the school and I took an unofficial visit to Ohio State when they played Northern Illinois," Battles said. "That was probably the best experience in my life. I went to Akron and Pitt too and my sophomore year I went to West Virginia's camp."

Most schools are recruiting Battles as a quarterback but he has the potential to play running back at the next level.

"I prefer quarterback," he said. "I think I have a better chance of doing better as a football player and an athlete at quarterback."

Battles, in only his third year playing quarterback, has quickly developed into a dual-threat with the ball in his hands. He completed 55-percent of his passes and averaged 7.0 yards per rushing attempt.

"My arm strength and my running ability are my strengths," he said. "As far as things I need to work on it's reading defenses more and developing as a quarterback. I used to be a running back but I like playing quarterback."

Battles led the Tigers to a 7-3 record this season.

Click here to view video highlights of Battles courtesty of

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