Miles Battle Gets Up To Speed At Utah, Hopes For Big Year

Aug 9, 2023, 3:08 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The transfer portal has become a place for Utah to bolster their roster and bringing in cornerback Miles Battle from Ole Miss certainly hasn’t hurt.

The Utes have had a lot of luck bringing in guys for just a season or two and having them have a shot in the NFL. Battle hopes to be the next and by reports from the coaches, he seems to be on his way.

Battle talked with reporters after practice this week about what drew him to the Utes, how the adjustment to new team has gone, the young cornerbacks in the room and much more.

Utah Prepares You For The NFL

Much like Battles’ size stands out in the cornerback room, Utah’s ability to prepare defensive backs and send them to the NFL stood out to him. In fact, Utah’s desire to mostly play man-coverage was part of what tipped the scales in Utah’s favor.

“That’s what they play at the next level,” Battle said. “That was a big reason why I came here is because they play a lot of man and I want to show I can do that at the next level.”

Battle also paid attention to the kind of competition he’d get to go up against in the Pac-12. With six returning quarterbacks who threw for over 3000 yards last season in the mix, it was an opportunity he wanted to be a part of.

“This conference has a lot of quarterbacks the NFL is looking at, so being able to play good man-coverage against them is also a plus,” Battle said. “It was another thing I was looking at when choosing my school.”

The Spot-Lite Is On

So far in camp, Battle thinks the cornerbacks are off to a good start and have already built a lot of comradery.

“I think we are heading in the right direction- we’ve got a lot of chemistry with each other already,” Battle said. “The communication has been great on and off the field. I think we are building a great unit.”

Battle says he’s confident in the group’s ability to play noting a strong combination of experience and young talent in the room.

“I feel like we can all play,” Battle said. “I’ve played a lot of football. Zemaiah’s played, JT’s played and that’s just the three right there and then we have young guys that have been getting a lot of reps and they’ve been coming along really well. I think we are building a lot of confidence in them as well.”

Assessing Utah’s Wide Receivers

The Utes made a push to improve their receiver room for 2023 and Battle says he’s been impressed by the guys he’s been going up against in practice.

“I think we have a dynamic group of wide receivers here,” Battle said. “Money Parks, Vele, Munir- a lot of freshmen like Mikey and then the transfer Mycah Pittman. There are a bunch of different kinds of receivers we have and being able to go against every body type I feel is just a plus for all of us.”

Battle Taking Ownership Of A New Environment

Battle is in an interesting position in his final year of eligibility where he brings a ton of experience and knowledge but is the new guy in the room. Battle says he took the time to get to know his new home and has since inserted himself into a leadership role that works with the dynamic.

“I’m an older player so at first I just had to see how everyone else and how everything is run and build myself into that,” Battle said. “Being the older player, I can give pointers here and there as far as technique and after I learned the defense all the way I feel like I helped a lot of the younger players like Blocker and Snowden come along as well.”

Part of the leadership that Battle has brought to the cornerback room for the Utes this season is a healthy dialogue with position coach Sharrieff Shah who has commented about how thoughtful and insightful his new player has been.

“I’ve come from a couple of defensive schemes,” Battle said. “Just being able to see how other people run things and then just asking those questions that- I have a different point of view because I’ve played at different places and with different coordinators. It’s just being able to have those open conversations with coach and then certain ways may be better than he ever thought of, or I’ve never thought of. It’s just being able to talk with each other and have open dialogue.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Miles Battle Gets Up To Speed At Utah, Hopes For Big Year