football

Rivals100 safety Baker thinking ahead

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Somehow, it doesn't feel like Budda Baker's recruitment has really gotten started. He holds 12 scholarships offers already and interest is pouring in from all directions. He's a Rivals100 member and ranked as the very best safeties in the country. But still ...
All of that, and it still seems like the chase for the Bellevue (Wash.) High School junior has just begun. You get the feeling there's plenty more to come. In some ways, Baker is taking things slowly. He has no further unofficial visits planned at this time and decided to sit on news of an Oregon offer for a few weeks before telling anybody about it.
"The Oregon thing only seems new because it just got out there," Baker said. "I've had it for a while, but nobody really knew. I've known about it for a while."
His thoughts on the Ducks aren't totally refined as of yet, but he has his early impression. It's not shockingly insightful or deep, but, hey, it's something.
"I just know that Oregon plays fast and I like to play fast," Baker said. "I know their coach left, but I still think they're going to be successful."
As disinterested as he seems in recruiting at some points, he's 100-percent engaged at others. In some ways, Baker is the poster child for planning ahead. Months before he'll be permitted to take his first official visit, he has specific destinations in mind.
So where will the four-star defensive back visit when the time comes? The list isn't final or full, but it's already forming.
"For sure, Oregon," Baker said. "For sure, UCLA. Hopefully, for sure, Alabama."
Baker says he is being recruited hardest by Alabama, USC, Arizona State and UCLA. The Crimson Tide and Trojans are yet to pull the trigger on an offer, but Baker thinks that could be coming soon.
"Alabama is just talking to my coaches right now, they're not really talking to me. I just hear about what they are saying from my coach. All I know is that it's just interest. They don't talk out loud."
As for favorites, there are none. Asked to name a list of frontrunners, he shys away completely.
"I'm just keeping it at a medium right now," Baker said. "I don't really know. I'm open to everyone."
Baker will compete on his high school's track team in the 200-meters, the long jump and a pair of relays this offseason, though, he has no interest in continuing his track career after high school.
"I do it just to keep me fit and still running, I guess," Baker said.
As a junior at Bellevue, Baker, who plays offense, defense and special teams, help lead his team to a perfect, 14-0 record and a state title.
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