|by David Hood|
Baker is out of Hollywood (FL) Chaminade Madonna and was visited this week by Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who spent an hour telling him about the Clemson program and how he would use Baker next season.
The result is that Baker will be in Clemson for an official visit this weekend.
“I leave tomorrow [Friday] morning at 9 a.m., and I am bringing my grandmother,” Baker told TigerNet Thursday. “I’ve never been to Clemson, and I want to get there and see if I can see myself living there for four years and becoming a better athlete and student.”
Baker said that Venables has told him that he has a chance to make an early impact on a Clemson secondary that struggled this season.
“He told me that they need defensive backs, and he thinks I can come in and make an instant impact,” Baker said. “We talked about Coach [Dabo] Swinney and his philosophy, and he told me that I can have an impact on a winning program with lots of tradition and a program that is headed in the right direction. I think I could come and make plays in the secondary.”
He was also visited by Oklahoma’s Mike Stoops after Venables left, and he said that Oklahoma is recruiting him as an athlete. He hopes to visit Norman next weekend.
“Oklahoma is saying a lot of the same things that Clemson is saying,” he said. “They told me that I can come in and play right away. They also told me that they play in a conference that plays at a high level, and they know I can make an impact.”
Baker said he isn’t sure where he stands with his commitment to the Seminoles, especially after defensive coordinator Mark Stoops left FSU to take the head coaching job at Kentucky.
“Honestly, I haven’t really answered questions about my commitment because I just don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know what they are doing with that open defensive coordinator position. I want to see what they do there.”
As a junior, Baker had 38 tackles and four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He said he likes to make plays like his idol, Deion Sanders.
“Lots of people say I am like Deion or Antonio Cromartie,” he said. “Those are the main two. With Deion, he made big plays and he used his speed. He had speed and every time he touched the ball he had something happen. I think I can have that kind of splash and playmaking ability.”
David Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org