Who watched Isaiah Battle every game of his Clemson career? This guy > Brian Goodison, manager of Shakin the Southland, SB Nation's community for fans of the Clemson Tigers, the football team for Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina (comma usage guidance provided by Future).
On-field first. What traits did Battle excel in throughout his three years? What do you think he'll be successful at in the NFL? Conversely, what should Rams fans worry about when he's on the field?
Honestly I'll be shocked if he's a success on the field, but that's more because he's had several opportunities to show up at Clemson and never has. If Clemson had ever bothered recruiting better on the OL I don't think Battle ever becomes a starter. It is a shame because he has the physical attributes and mean streak, but the technique and desire just isn't there.
But in terms of what to work on, he definitely needs to improve in the run game. Clemson as a whole was pretty terrible at it and Battle had his fair share of screwups, especially with an inability to blow guys off the line. Pass blocking was definitely better than run blocking, but he still has to work on it. I guess the good news is that it won't be Sam Bradford that gets injured because of Battle's incompetence?
Off-field...what...is...the deal? 10 being he gets in to some kind of off-field issue in 2015, 1 being Peyton Manning, what's your guess for his disciplinary future?
I think at a basic level Battle just wasn't mature enough for college. All of his troubles at Clemson came from stupid things like grades, punching players, and weed. If he wasn't a football player these wouldn't be huge issues, plenty of college kids struggle and do these types of things.
That said, I think he turns it around off the field. I don't know that he'll ever mature enough to put it together on the field, but I think he recognizes the any screwups ruins the possibility of making it in the NFL. I'd put him at 3 for this.
One of the aspects the current Rams front office and coaching staff is keen on is position versatility among their linemen. I don't remember seeing Battle anywhere but left tackle. Did he ever slide inside or kick over to the right side? Do you think he is capable of doing as much if need be?
He actually started 4 games in 2013 at RT, but he's always been pegged as an LT. I think it would be possible for him to rotate between the tackle positions, but I'm not sure if he would be able to make the transition to guard. With him apparently getting a redshirt year by the Rams, it would give him an opportunity to learn both positions and improve technique.
What do you think he learned specifically because of Clemson football, because of Dabo and the rest of that offensive staff? Is there an identity building among Clemson offensive lines or something generalized into a bigger quality?
For our OL, definitely not. It is the one position holding us back from a national title run. The one hope is that Battle has finally learned he can't just get by on talent. His time at Clemson is best described as a guy with a ton of potential, but he wasted by acting immature and not wanting to put the work in. Maybe his dismissal, and it was a dismissal despite what came out publicly, will convince him to get his life together and put some effort into football. If he does that he has first round potential and would be an absolute steal for that 5th round pick.
What's the outlook for the line in Battle's absence in 2015? What are you hoping to see from them through the Wofford and Appalachian State games heading towards the Louisville game?
Even before Battle's departure we were pretty scared about the OL. As I mentioned before, Clemson has struggled to recruit enough players on the OL. Before the 2015 class, we averaged 2-3 OL per year. An absolutely unacceptable number at the hardest position to project from HS to college. We also didn't have enough talent, Brandon Thomas is the only good OL we've had come through the program in the past 6 years or so.
Thankfully we've changed that starting this year, and one of the freshman is likely to start the season at LT, Mitch Hyatt. Hopefully he'll have enough time to learn on the job, he certainly impressed in spring practice, and I think by midseason he will be as good if not better than Battle was.