Clemson continues to lead in the recruitment of Rocky Mount (N.C.) cornerback Shyheim Battle.
Battle told The Clemson Insider at the Under Armour All-America Camp in Charlotte last weekend that Clemson remains his top school.
“They’ve got a great program going on,” Battle said. “They’re putting DBs in the league. I know a guy that goes there. I’ve got a great connection with him, great connection with my position coach (Mike Reed) and coach (Brent) Venables.”
The “guy” that Battle referred to is Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen, whom Battle has built a relationship with. Battle was able to get a good look at Mullen when he attended the Orange & White spring game last month.
Battle (6-2, 170) sees similarities between himself and Mullen and says he models his game after Mullen’s.
“We’re about the same size. Both lanky, tall,” Battle said. “So I just try to shadow my game off him. I see how he plays — relaxed, real calm and waits on the receiver to make his move. So I just try to watch what he does and pick up on it.”
Battle said Reed, Clemson’s cornerbacks coach, wanted him to commit to the Tigers while he was on campus for April 14’s spring game.
“He said he needs some guys,” Battle said. “He was just like whenever you’re ready, come on, but I need you right now. He said if you could play today, I would play you today.”
Battle, though, isn’t ready to pull the trigger on his pledge just yet. He is looking to visit schools such as LSU, Ohio State, Tennessee and Clemson this summer before advancing toward his decision.
“Right now I just want to get around everywhere and see where I really feel like I’m needed at,” he said.
Prior to the spring game, Battle visited Clemson to watch a spring practice in March. When he returns to Clemson, he is looking to get a better feel for the players and hear what they have to say about the program.
“The players will tell me everything I need to know,” he said, “so I want get a better connection with those guys.”
Battle most recently visited Tennessee for its spring game on April 21 and said the Volunteers jumped into third place in his recruitment, followed by NC State at No. 2 and Clemson at No. 1. Duke and Ohio State round out his current top five, respectively.
Right now, Battle is thinking about taking his official visits “maybe in the fall” before rendering his decision, which could possibly come after his senior season.
A couple of factors are of paramount importance to Battle as he evaluates his college options.
“I’m looking at early playing time, maybe as a true freshman,” he said. “I want to get a good education. Both of those are real key, and relationships with the coaches.”
Battle carries close to 20 offers in total. Clemson extended its offer in February.
In 11 games as a junior last season, Battle logged 31 tackles and three pass deflections on defense. Offensively, he recorded 17 receptions for 361 yards and four touchdowns.