Clemson jumps to No. 1 for Carolina cornerback

Clemson jumps to No. 1 for Carolina cornerback

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Clemson jumps to No. 1 for Carolina cornerback

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Standout North Carolina recruit has a new favorite following Clemson visit

Last month, Clemson extended a scholarship offer to Rocky Mount (N.C.) cornerback Shyheim Battle.

Last Friday, Battle visited Clemson for the first time since he was a freshman two years ago.

The class of 2019 prospect left Tiger Town thoroughly impressed — and with a new leader in his recruitment.

“It’s safe to say that they are out front,” Battle said of Clemson.

The visit afforded Battle his first look at Clemson’s football operations complex, which was under construction when he was previously on campus for the Dabo Swinney Camp in 2016.

“The new facility was amazing, never seen anything like it before,” Battle said. “It has everything the players need, and they made it look fun for the players, not just for football. It had a chill area, a relaxing area, a court to play ball, game room with bowling. Also personal chefs for the players to eat whenever. The meeting room is really nice.

“Everything is just pretty neat. It was well thought about for a place for more than just football for the players. It has a barbershop, too.”

Battle liked what he saw while touring the campus and housing, as well.

“I could definitely see myself there,” he said.

Later, Battle had a chance to check out the Tigers’ spring practice.

“There were only six corners, but they were going after it,” he said. “Each player wanted to be there, practice wasn’t boring. The one-on-one drills were fun to watch because the corners had to wear boxing gloves while guarding the receivers so they couldn’t hold. That made it harder for them to make plays, but also made them have to use their feet and techniques to keep up.”

Prior to the practice, Battle met with head coach Dabo Swinney in his office.

“He’s a cool coach,” Battle said. “He told me how they have a lot of DBs in the league, but they have been low on depth on DBs lately, so it’s a great time for me to come in and play.

“We talked what I’m looking for in a school when do I want to make my decision and how I’m going about the recruiting process. He told me how they develop the players into men so they live on their own after college.”

Battle also spoke with defensive coordinator Brent Venables and most of the other coaches.

“He was glad I came up,” Battle said, “and the whole staff was excited to have me on campus and would love for me to keep coming back.”

Battle held Power Conference offers from Duke, NC State, Tennessee, Boston College, Wake Forest and Virginia when Clemson offered on Feb. 21. Since then, he has added offers from Ohio State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.

NC State was slated to host Battle on Friday, and he is expected to visit East Carolina on Saturday. He is looking to visit Ohio State and Tennessee in April, while Clemson has invited him to attend its spring game on April 14.

As for Clemson, his new top school, Battle is looking forward to returning soon.

“As I talked with coach Swinney in his office before practice, he asked me to promise to come back,” Battle said, “and I did because I want to come back soon.”

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