football Edit

Tustin OL a mauler

When it comes to being one of the most aggressive and fierce blockers in the nation, few rival the job that Tustin, Calif., offensive lineman Sam Baker does. Simply put, he’s a mauler, and isn’t afraid to tell you or his opponents that he’s going to come hard after you.
“I’m definitely confident about myself,” said Baker, a Rivals100 selection that is 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds.
“I think I’m a great pull blocker and my trapping and run blocking are what I do best. I’m just really aggressive out there. I’m a mauler. I’m not afraid to mix it up.”
And to help him get better at “mixing it up,” Baker has been getting up and hitting the weight room at 5:45 a.m. every morning and then again at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon.
“I think the biggest thing that’ll help me with is my conditioning,” he said. “I just want to be in the best shape that I can be in. This season is so important to us.”
Us, meaning you and Chris Barrett, who is also known as “The Freak?”
“Yeah, we’re tight,” Baker said. “We’re in this together all the way.”
And that means even in the recruiting wars.
Baker said at this point, he’s probably leaning toward USC and Florida. He had previously been only a USC lean, but the Gators are going to make things interesting.
“Florida is up there, too,” Baker said. “They offered me and The Freak. So we talked about it and both agreed that it’d be cool to go to the same school. Florida sounds like a cool place. It doesn’t get any bigger than the Swamp or the SEC. SC is big time, but Florida seems like the team that is already there.”
But on the other hand, Baker said he thinks it might be neat to help put USC back on the national map.
“SC is a team on the rise,” he said. “They are a team of the future. Plus, they’re right there and close to home. I’m going to take my visits and see how it plays out, but USC and Florida are up there now.”
The other schools that could get a visit include LSU, Arizona State and Oregon. All but LSU have offered Baker a scholarship at this point.
“LSU is the only school not to offer,” he said. “When they called in May they said they were, but I’ve not gotten it in the mail yet. Arizona State and Oregon are also two schools that peak my interest.”