Breakout Batten


Listening to Danny Batten talk about his time at SDSU is kind of like hearing a thank you note read aloud.

He has a lot of people to thank.

Batten, in his second year with the Buffalo Bills, returned to SDSU as a part of the Coughlin-Alumni Stadium 50-year celebration and the timing could not have been better for him to come back to Brookings, as the celebration aligned with his bye week.

“My bye week lined up perfectly and it was an opportunity to come and spend some time with the greats that wore the yellow and the blue. Those guys helped make me the player that I am,” Batten said.

A native of Gilbert, Ariz., Batten played for the Jacks from 2006 to 2009 and was an all-conference selection three times before finishing his senior season as an All-American selection. He was selected in the sixth round, number 192 overall by Buffalo, moving from defensive end for the Jacks to outside linebacker for the Bills.

He missed all of his rookie season after badly injuring his shoulder and then made the 53-man roster in September at outside linebacker in the Bills’ 3-4 defensive scheme.

“He plays 100 miles per hour every snap,” Bills head coach Chan Gailey said during training camp earlier this season to a group of reporters. ”Every snap. His technique is getting better. His understanding of the game is getting better standing up and playing linebacker. He’s been a very pleasant surprise thus far.”

Batten has played in all six games so far this season, including starts each of the Bills’ last two games against Philadelphia and the New York Giants. He has tallied 12 tackles, including eight solo tackles and recovered a fumble against Oakland in Week 2.

It hasn’t taken long for the people of Buffalo to appreciate Batten and his rise to the Bills lineup.

“Great city. Great fans,” Batten said of the western New York city. “Blue-collar town and it’s just my kind of place. Buffalo has some of the greatest fans in the NFL, so it’s been a great experience.”

He’s one of four former Jackrabbits in the currently in the NFL, along with kicker Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts and rookie tight end Colin Cochart, who is with the Cincinnati Bengals. Offensive lineman Casey Bender is currently on the Detroit Lions practice squad.

“It’s a dream come true,” Batten said. “I have to pinch myself everyday to make sure I’m not dreaming but it’s just football and I’m going out there and doing what I’ve done my whole life. I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

And when asked about what he loved most about SDSU during the midst of the halftime celebration, Batten was ready.

“The camaraderie and the family atmosphere I had with my teammates is something that you can’t replicate, you can’t teach, you can’t coach,” he said. “We bonded and we beat NDSU.”