When the college football playoff national championship kicks off tonight at SoFi Stadium in California, a strong contingency of Daphne Trojan fans will be cheering on their former quarterback Trent Battle ...
When the college football playoff national championship kicks off tonight at SoFi Stadium in California, a strong contingency of Daphne Trojan fans will be cheering on their former quarterback Trent Battle who is now a running back and special teamer for the Texas Christian Horned Frogs.
Battle graduated from Daphne High School in 2021 as a four-year starter and two-time all-state honoree with a 3.96 GPA. He will mark the third former Trojan to play in the college football national championship in the last decade after Ryan Anderson (2015) and TJ Yeldon (2012) both walked away winners as members of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
As a redshirt freshman this season for No. 3 TCU, the 6’ 1”, 205-pound athlete collected 91 receiving yards on 7 catches as well as 38 rushing yards on 9 carries and a 24-yard kickoff return. He’s also collected 7 total tackles on special teams between 5 solos and 2 assists.
During media day availability, Battle met with A.P. Steadham from Baldwin County’s WHEP Radio and said that his former head coach Kenny King has stayed in touch with him throughout the season but played a big role in his signing with the Horned Frogs.
“Coach King was a big influence in my recruiting, he was always trying to push me to the best schools he felt like were best for me,” Battle said Saturday. “He talked with them before I committed here and he figured this was a really good situation and he agreed it was a good decision to come here.”
While he transitioned to becoming a full-time running back, Battle said offensive coordinator Garrett Riley has gotten the most out of all of Battle’s athletic abilities.
“He’s asked me to do a bunch of different things. He’s asked me to be versatile and catch a few balls out of the backfield come in and play some special teams and do a bunch of different things for this team,” Battle said.
That team will now be playing in its first-ever college football playoff championship contest but knew they’d have a real shot at it from the start of the season.
“We always knew we had it in us,” Battle said. “Coach has kind of pushed that image forward into us and telling us that we have all the pieces, we have all of the players and we have all the stuff we need, we just have to go and do it, believe in ourselves and buy into the program that he’s about to bring with him.”
All the while, Battle has been representing Daphne and said his parents and brother were planning on being at the game.
“Thank you for supporting me this season, can’t wait to try and go out there and put on for the 251,” Battle said of his message to those back home.
Battle finished his senior season for the Trojans with 1,612 passing yards and 19 passing touchdowns to go along with 716 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns. The 6’ 1”, 199-pound recruit received other Division I offers from Central Michigan, Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Nebraska, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Troy, Tulane, UAB and Virginia.
TCU punches ticket to its first-ever playoff championship game
The Horned Frogs finished the regular season undefeated but fell in the Big 10 Championship game to Kansas State. TCU was still a top-four team in the eyes of the college football playoff committee and earned the three-seed before taking down No. 2 Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl, 51-45, Dec. 31, 2022.
Although it will be the Horned Frogs’ first time in the championship game under the current playoff format, TCU was crowned national champions after winning the Sugar Bowl in 1935 and 1938 under Dutch Meyer.
Now, in Sonny Dykes’ first year at the helm, the Horned Frogs have recorded their first 13-win season since the 2010 squad that won the Rose Bowl to finish undefeated.
The defending-champion and top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs will bring its 14-0 record into tonight’s title bout looking for a fourth national championship overall. Before Georgia beat Alabama in last year’s playoff championship, the Bulldogs finished the 1980 season as the only undefeated team with a win in the Sugar Bowl as well as won the 1942 Rose Bowl to complete an 11-1 season.