The decision is in and another Cleveland native is taking his talents to the state of Florida. This time its linebacker Jerome Baker (6-1, 206, Cleveland, OH Benedictine) who pledged to Florida on Friday morning.
Baker’s family liked Ohio State and for sometime the Buckeyes were the favorite but defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin developed a strong relationship with the linebacker and in the end won out.
“Coach Durkin and I have an awesome relationship,” Baker said. “Coach Durkin is someone that I can talk to about everything from my life to football. We have really good conversations with each other and are always relaxed. Our relationship is very strong and open. I usually talk to him twice a week or sometimes more.”
With Baker’s commitment the Gators now sit at 10 verbal commitment for the Class of 2015 and Baker is the first linebacker commit as Florida looks to add three more linebackers after not taking one in the class of 2014.
Baker joins defensive tackle Andrew Ivie, defensive backs Marcus Lewis, Jalen Julis and Deontai Williams in the class and is also the fourth out of state commitment for the Class of 2015.
Ohio State and Tennessee — his other finalists — aren’t going to stop recruiting Baker but he says that his decision will be a solid one. At this time, Baker doesn’t know if he will take an official visit other than one to Florida this upcoming season.
If Florida signs Baker in February of 2015 then he would be the first Ohio prospect to sign with Florida since 2002 when running back Deshawn Wynn signed with Florida out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
While that’s a crazy stat, this year the Gators have a great chance to sign two prospects out of Ohio as offensive lineman George Brown has Florida as a finalist and he’s from Cincinnati, Ohio himself.