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January 7, 2021

Jordan Battle

Grapevine, Texas, USA

Alabama Crimson Tide

CFP Media Conference

Q. Jordan, I wanted to know just what it's going to feel like for you playing back at home in South Florida, and also just how South Florida prepared you and the other guys from this area for big moments like this.

JORDAN BATTLE: Well, of course it's going to be a great time playing in Miami, my hometown -- well, close to my hometown, having a lot of family there, you know, getting a chance to play in Miami in the Hard Rock Stadium. I grew up watching the Dolphins in there.

How South Florida prepared us for this, you know, we grew up with speed, track, basketball, playing every sport. We come out, we run, just run straight out of our ^ mom's. We run. That's what we do.

So that's how South Florida prepared us for moments like these.

Q. Can you speak to just the entire -- basically you guys' entire secondary is South Florida guys: You, Pat, Daniel, Josh. What's it like playing with a bunch of guys at the college level going for a national title and doing it with guys who you basically grew up with on the high school circuit?

JORDAN BATTLE: Yeah, you know, it's fun. Coming from South Florida we all kind of have the same lingo, you know. We just create -- we have such a great bond coming from out of the same area. I grew up playing with players like D-Wright, playing against Pat, playing against Josh Jobe. It's just very fun to be playing against and competing for a National Championship now coming from the same area.

Q. Ohio State, as you saw on film in the Clemson game, used check-downs pretty well between Fields and Sermon. I'm curious, as a defense, how do you try to prevent some of those gash plays from happening just because it's obviously not their first choice of a play but can still be really effective?

JORDAN BATTLE: It's just having good eyes, locking on to your man or locking on to your zone in a scramble or when it's long -- when it's a long time, when he has a long time to throw the ball, it's just being consistent and focusing on your keys and watching your man.

You lock on. If he scrambles you've got to stay on, because creating plays off the scramble is one of the most explosive plays for a quarterback to make.

Q. You spent a small period of time committed to Ohio State before obviously you chose Alabama. Is it weird at all to think that no matter what you could be playing in this game right now?

JORDAN BATTLE: You know what's funny, my mom, dad and my brother, we were all talking about it in a group chat this past week. It's kind of funny that -- either school I would have went to, I would have been in the National Championship. I give all praise to Ohio State. Great coaching staff, great players.

I just had to make the best decision for me towards the end to come to Alabama. I give all the praise and all the excitement and joy in Ohio State, as well.

Q. Throughout your career at Ohio State, your freshman year most importantly, you played along some really talented safeties who had had some experience playing college football in Xavier McKinney and guys like that. What did you learn from those guys to help push you in these moments in games like this?

JORDAN BATTLE: To be consistent, stay focused on what we have to do to win this game, go watch film, be locked in, be a leader on the field, get everybody on the same page, have us all communicate, be on the same page.

Coach Scott tells us before every game, Win the game before the game even happens. That means like staying in the books, know what's coming, and just be focused.

Q. Just to follow up on what you were asked about your decision to flip from Ohio State to Alabama, what do you remember about being recruited by the Buckeyes, and what did you like about them and what ultimately made you decide to come to Alabama instead?

JORDAN BATTLE: Like I said before, it was a personal thing. I had to make the best decision for me. Obviously you see I did make the best decision for me, and that's all it came down to.

I don't remember the process and all that. There's too much in college for me to remember that.

Q. As you mentioned earlier you will be returning to South Florida, along with a couple other guys on the squad. Have you guys had a chance to talk to each other about some of the expectations? And furthermore, has Coach Saban or Coach Golding talked to you guys, as well, to temper down? I know you've got a lot of expectations going on.

JORDAN BATTLE: No, we haven't really talked about that yet. That's probably going to be something to talk about after the game. Right now we're just focusing on preparing for the game and hoping for the best outcome for us.

Q. As a safety just looking across the Ohio State passing attack and the weapons they have, what do you see in those guys and what is the biggest challenge you guys face out of those weapons?

JORDAN BATTLE: Obviously Justin Fields, Garrett Wilson, Olave, and No. 6, Jameson Williams, they're all great players, very respectful players. They're very great, very fast, very -- I don't know. They're going to be the greatest challenge we have. This is the National Championship.

Q. Have you spoken to your former high school coach, Roger Harriott, about the national title game, and how has he impacted you throughout your high school and college career?

JORDAN BATTLE: Oh, I love Coach Harriott. A very family man. He coached my brother at University School before I even went -- before I even left University School and went to St. Thomas, and that's what made me go to St. Thomas.

He taught me a lot, man. Just being disciplined, having great character. That's what led me to getting here right now, where I am right now.

Q. Tonight Pat is going to be up for a couple of awards, including, I guess, what would be the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for the defensive guys. Just talk about what that's going to be like, how much you're rooting for him, and what an impact he's had on your career at Bama.

JORDAN BATTLE: Oh, Pat is a great player. You know, he always is on me about staying focused, keeping on track. I'm very happy for him for being up for these awards, and I'm very excited to see the outcome of these.

Q. You might not realize this, but when Nick Saban back in the day came to Alabama, George Smith at St. Thomas Aquinas wrote a letter telling no one to go to Alabama back then. It's been so long since Saban has been at Alabama now, how do young players like yourself who came up going to St. Thomas and other schools kind of look at Nick Saban now compared to the way they did when he left the Dolphins?

JORDAN BATTLE: I don't know nothing about that. You just kind of like blew my mind. I didn't even know nothing about that. I mean, my decision was like based all on me, my family, and the coaching staff of Alabama. You know, I don't really know about any of that George Smith stuff, but I love George Smith. That's my guy right there.

Q. I know he didn't play against Notre Dame, but how has Malachi Moore looked in practice this week?

JORDAN BATTLE: That's not for me to speak on. Malachi is focusing on getting his back right and all that stuff, so we're just focusing on us moving forward in the next game what we can do better and what we can do to change what we did bad in the Notre Dame game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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