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Battle Completes First Rams Practice

Posted Aug 1, 2015

Despite an uncommon path to the NFL, supplemental draft pick Isaiah Battle is in camp and practicing with the Rams.

Despite an uncommon path to the NFL, offensive tackle Isaiah Battle has completed his first practice with the Rams.

St. Louis selected Battle in the supplemental draft on July 9 in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2016, adding him to the mix of young offensive linemen on this year’s squad. He was touted as the best player out of the seven available for this year’s supplemental draft.

“It was a great feeling and my eyes lit up,” Battle said of being drafted. “I was smiling from ear to ear. It is a great opportunity and I am very blessed. I had nothing to do but get on my knees and thank God.”

Battle said he has been training in Atlanta up to this point, but he is joining his new team at an interesting time. His NFL journey begins with a team that already completed a month of OTAs and had much more time to study the playbook. But the three-year player out of Clemson said he is ready to start making strides to catch up.

“Being a supplemental draft pick is very hard as you know everybody had two months extra to work,” Battle said. “But we have great guys and a great coaching staff who are going to catch me up and be patient with me. I am also going to learn a lot from the veterans.”

As most first-year players do, Battle noted the speed of the game as being the biggest change he needs to get used to. He said that when he learns the plays and gains confidence that the speed will pick up in his own game.

Battle isn’t coming in completely cold, however, saying that he worked through some of the playbook with offensive line assistant Andy Dickerson for several days before reporting to camp.

Upon drafting the tackle, the Rams front office said it will treat this as a redshirt season of sorts for Battle in order to bring him along gradually both on and off the field.

“It makes me want to work harder,” Battle said. “I want to be the guy they call on and a guy they can count on, but I know I have to take baby steps first. They told me that if I can put the work in and if I can learn fast then I’ll be able to play.”

Battle took minimal reps on Friday and he said he will be working at both left and right tackle, which shouldn’t be too big an adjustment as he played both in college.

Becoming the newest Ram isn’t the only major change in Battle’s life these days, as he became a father on July 17, eight days after he got the call from the Rams.

“That makes me look forward to working more,” Battle said. “I have more ahead of me now and it’s a great feeling.”