What was already a thin and weak OL suffered another blow today when Clemson announced that Isaiah Battle will not return to school and instead will enter the NFL Supplemental Draft this summer. The announcement is rather odd, and it follows some rumors that Battle may have had trouble with grades or other off field incidents. Battle, as many will remember, took a swing at an NC State player in 2013 and was immediately ejected. Dabo then suspended Battle for the game against Wake Forest. Isaiah does have a young child and the decision to enter the supplemental draft may have also been motivated by trying to provide for her rather than any school or disciplinary issues.
Battle spent 3 years at Clemson and saw playing time each year. He had the size and weight to become one of the best OLs in the ACC, but his attitude and lack of effort meant he never quite put it together. He spent a year at Fort Union Military Academy before attending Clemson, but failed to progress as his talent would suggest.
The departure leaves Clemson in a pretty rough spot. Battle, despite his lack of effort, as one of the best returning OL on the team, and his departure really hurts Clemson. At this point it looks like freshman Mitch Hyatt is the frontrunner to step into the starting LT job day 1. Thankfully we have two cupcakes for him to get acquainted with college football.
It is also possible that Dabo may elect to shuffle the OL a bit to try and keep Hyatt as a backup, but given his performance in spring practice it may not be worth messing with the rest of the OL.
Updated: It appears that the actual cause of his departure was related to a citation for possession of marijuana. According to TCI, he was cited on June 11th and this would have been his third strike which forced Dabo to ask him to leave the program. TCI is the only place reporting this and we'll have to wait until any police records are made public which may take another week or so.