Florida now stands in Baker’s top 3

Florida hosted a big unofficial visitor on Saturday and that visitor returned on Monday to finish his trip.

That prospect was athlete Jerome Baker (6-1, 202, Cleveland, OH Benedictine) who enjoyed his long visit and detailed the experience to Gator Country.

“It was good, I had a great time down there seeing Florida,” Baker said. “I got the chance to hang out with the players, see the facilities, try on the jerseys and talk to the coaches. Overall it was just a great experience.”

Baker plays both running back and linebacker in high school but this weekend Florida let him know that he was wanted at linebacker and he got the chance to meet defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin who impressed the athlete from Ohio.

“They want me at linebacker mainly so I spent a lot of time with the defensive coordinator,” Baker said. “Coach [D.J.] Durkin was keeping it 100 with me and didn’t hold anything back. He was just being completely honest about how they would use me and things like that. He said they see me fitting in at the WILL linebacker position.”

During the visit Baker had the chance to sit down and watch film of the Gators’ defense with Durkin and Baker left impressed by what he saw.

“Coach Durkin actually showed me some film and we sat there watching it and going over it for a while,” Baker said. “He was showing me where I would fit in at. He was real good, it was exciting. I can really myself fitting in there in that defense. They did a good job of showing me where I would play at and what I would be doing exactly.”

Much like Durkin did with Baker, Will Muschamp also kept an honest approach with Baker and that left a positive impression on Baker.

“Coach Muschamp is a great guy and again he was telling me how it is and he wasn’t going to sugar coat anything for me,” Baker said. “He said he’s going to show me tough love on the field but that he was going to show me love. I like his business approach about football.”

Following the visit to Florida and Tennessee this past week Baker now has an unofficial top three list of schools.

“Florida, Tennessee and Ohio State are the three schools standing out right now,” Baker said. “I want to make a decision after my senior year of football. I want to take officials this fall and I know those three schools will get officials.”

Being so far away home for a freshmen can sometimes be tough but if Baker chooses Florida he has family close by to help him feel more at home.

“Having family in Orlando definitely helps with the distance,” Baker said. “It’s not a big factor but it helps some. Distance isn’t really that big of factor honestly.”

Next week the Gators will return the favor of visiting Baker in Ohio when the coaches hit the road for recruiting.

“Florida is going to be visiting me at my school next Monday,” Baker told Gator Country.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.