Left tackle Isaiah Battle leaving Clemson for NFL supplemental draft

Clemson starting left tackle Isaiah Battle will enter the NFL supplemental draft, coach Dabo Swinney announced Thursday.

"I have some family matters to address, with a child due this summer, and I feel it is in my best interest to enter the NFL supplemental draft," Battle said.

"I want to thank everyone at Clemson, especially Coach Swinney and the assistant coaches, for what they have done for me the last three years. I also want to thank my teammates. They have all had a big impact on my career."

Battle, who played in 27 career games, started 11 contests last season and played more snaps than any other player on the team (824), so his loss is a big one -- especially since true freshman Mitch Hyatt will be given an opportunity to win the starting job.

Hyatt, a five-star prospect ranked as the No. 2 offensive lineman in the country, participated in spring practice as Battle's backup.

"This will create a great opportunity for Mitch," Swinney said in a statement. "We liked what we saw from Mitch in the spring and look forward to seeing his progress in August. We have other young offensive linemen who will also have a new opportunity for playing time."

Battle has been in trouble in the past at Clemson, serving a suspension in 2013 after punching a player, and another last season for disciplinary reasons. According to The Clemson Insider, Battle was pulled over for speeding in early June and caught with marijuana. Police cited him for both, but did not charge or arrest him.

Teams that pick a player in the supplemental draft forfeit their pick in the corresponding round of the following year's NFL draft. If a player goes unselected, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The last time a player was taken in the supplemental draft was 2012 when the Cleveland Browns used a second-round choice on wide receiver Josh Gordon.