With about 12 or 13 years of experience, football has become the norm for starting quarterback Eddie Battle, a red-shirt sophomore from Titusville. Battle said his coaches, unaware of his abilities at first, soon figured out he possessed many talents.
From not having a primary position to finally being given a shot at quarterback, Battle has shown he is more than capable.
“When I first started playing football I really didn’t have a position and my coaches kind of just put me anywhere until they found out I could actually throw the ball, near the end of the season,” said the 20-year-old computer information systems student.
Regardless of being named the starting quarterback for the Rattlers for the 2008-2009 football season, Battle remains humble. He feels he is prepared to hit the field and knows what it means to be a leader.
“Everything I do, I want to do as a leader,” Battle said. “I don’t want to be that vocal guy who doesn’t really believe in what he says, so I just try to lead through example so my teammates can see what I’m doing and hopefully have the same type of encouragement I have.”
Throughout spring training and workouts, the athlete seems to have shown tremendous team leadership. His coaches echo a lot of the same words he uses to describe himself and what he wishes to accomplish.
Head coach Joe Taylor said Battle has proven time and time again that he is capable of getting his team through tough situations on the field and that he’s a great person.
“He’s a very strong-minded young man,” Taylor said. “He’s here for the right reasons. He has his head on right and the team sees that he’s just a great guy.”
Coach Taylor is very confident in his decision to name Battle the starting quarterback.
“The deciding factor for me in naming Battle the starter for next season was that he always seems to keep his composure,” Taylor said. “He never seems to get rattled and most importantly, he’s a great decision maker.”
Taylor said spectators always believe a quarterback is required to have a strong arm or quick feet. More importantly, a quarterback needs to be the manager of the team, and that’s something that attracted him to Battle.
“A quarterback has to be able to move his team down the field and be able to decide when to stick the ball in there or hold on to it and run,” Taylor said. “Limiting turnovers and getting the team out of bad situations is also key.”
With the new football season quickly approaching, Battle said he wants to be a role model and try to lead his fellow teammates to a championship.
His quarterback coach Steven Jerry said he has seen tremendous growth with Battle.
“Eddie’s got very few weaknesses and a lot of strengths,” Jerry said. “He’s done a very good job in whatever we’ve asked of him. He’s a good leader and those are things you look for in a quarterback.”
Under a new head coach and several other leadership changes made during the off-season, Battle knows the time to win is now.
“I think the things he’s brought to this program can only take us up from here and I can definitely see a championship real soon.”