Two-time honorable mention All-Conference USA defensive back Jordan Batiste has withdrawn from Tulane, a school spokesman confirmed Friday.
Batiste, a Lutcher High School product who played bigger than his size (5-foot-8, 169 pounds), just completed his sophomore season, when he invoked comparisons to former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu with his versatility.
Playing primarily as a nickel corner, he led the Green Wave in sacks with seven — rare for a defensive back — and forced a team-high four fumbles with nine deflections despite starting only five games, earning honorable-mention status from the league’s coaches.
The Tulane spokesman said coach Curtis Johnson would not comment on Batiste’s departure.
A source said Batiste would enroll at Southeastern Louisiana, but the school can’t confirm his enrollment until the spring semester begins Tuesday. The Lions advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals this past season.
If Batiste transfers to another Football Bowl Subdivision school, he would have to sit out a year under NCAA rules and would have two years of eligibility remaining. If he transfers to an FCS school like SLU, which is less than an hour from his hometown of Gramercy, he would be eligible to play in the fall.
At Tulane last season, his 55 tackles ranked fifth on the team. He was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after having a career-high eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception against UL-Monroe in September.
Batiste enrolled at Tulane in January 2012 and started 10 games at cornerback as a true freshman, registering 41 tackles with eight breakups to earn his first honorable mention selection.
Batiste was one of five players suspended for the season opener against Jackson State for an unspecified violation of team policy.
In what will turn out to be his final game with Tulane, Batiste made six tackles and had two sacks in the Green Wave’s 24-21 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl.
Cornerback was one of Tulane’s deepest positions in 2012. The Green Wave also loses senior Jordan Sullen, but first-team All-C-USA pick Lorenzo Doss will return along with Memphis transfer Taurean Nixon (13 tackles) and rising sophomore Richard Allen (nine).
In a tweet Friday, Tulane defensive end Royce LaFrance indicated how much the Wave would miss Batiste: “The most fearless DB I ever played with. 5’9, 180 pounds but played like he was 6’2 225. Very talented dude.”