Small in size, but Brian Battie brings record returns for USF

Brian Battie is a South Florida Bull who caught national headlines last season. He made his name known, despite often being mispronounced.

It's: "Bat-Tee," said the sophomore kicker-returner. "So it's like at bat and a tee."

Battie pulled off a feat never before seen on a college football field, returning not one, but two kickoffs in a single half, for goal line-to-goal line touchdowns.

100 yards, on the dot. 

Even Battie didn't know he was the first to do it in one half of football.

"I didn't know I was the only one in the first half," smiled Battie. "That's kind of breaking it all the way down. It feels good to know that."

"You have to have no fear being able to hit it up there full speed," said USF head coach Jeff Scott. "He's got great vision. I definitely one of the positives of last season."

Battie, who grew up in Sarasota, had a home field advantage for the returns. 

Special teams coach Daniel Da Prato saw something special in this 5'8" 165 lb speedster when he arrived as freshman in 2020.

"I think the biggest thing is there's a little bit of a chip on his shoulder to say that he's got something to prove," said Da Prato. "People look at it because he's undersized and they say, 'Hey, you know he's tiny.' Well, if you can't catch him it doesn't matter how big he is."

What was even more impressive is that Battie did it while injured, playing with a broken foot. He has a chip in the ball of his foot making it painful to run.

"I have to run on the side of my foot kind of," explained Battie. "I put most of the pressure on my other toes, not my big toe. I definitely feel I could be more explosive if I was to get this problem fixed.

Battie was the teams third leading rusher as well and ended up three kickoff returns for touchdowns, one of shy of tying the NCAA record for the most in season. He's just a sophomore with plenty more time in college to run.