While he did take a return trip to Tuscaloosa, the four-star has been more focused on his prep work ahead of the 2015 season as the Avengers kick off camp.
“It’s been good, the team is looking really good,” Baldwin said. “The coaching staff is preparing us for our first game on August 29. We started fall camp on Wednesday. We’ve got a whole bunch of guys ready to play and we’ve got some good guys on the offensive line.
“They got me at right tackle, but I’m taking reps at left. I can play either one, but I’ve been playing right tackle all my life so it’s where I’m most comfortable. I just try to work hard, but I’m a tackle because of my athleticism. I just try to do what coaches tell me to do.”
Baldwin, who picked Alabama over Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina and others, has made a marked improvement since last fall in the size and strength department. It’s part of the potential UA offensive line coach Mario Cristobal saw when he began courting the Connecticut native.
“I’m better than last year, I’ve been working with a lot of my coaches here on technique, stuff that I feel like I need to work on like polishing my run-blocking game and pass-protection,” he said. “I’m more flexible now, too. I’m way more flexible and am moving better at about 310 (pounds) right now. I’ll probably play at 300 or 305 this season.”
The sophomore admits progressing while being pledged to Nick Saban’s program has had its perks along the way.
“It’s been good, the fans show me a lot of love on Instagram and Facebook, that’s always cool,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just eager to get up there. I want to get through my season here and win a national championship, then keep the train rolling when I get to Alabama.
“I went up there a couple of weeks ago for an unofficial visit, me and coach Cristobal keep in really good contact. It wasn’t really a different trip, but I got to meet more of the players and hang out with the players and coaches. It’s a very family-oriented group, the all have each other’s backs out there. It’s something I really like about the program and one of the reasons I committed.”
One of just a quartet of four-star junior college offensive tackle prospects on Scout, Baldwin remains a prized commodity by many coaching staffs nationally despite his Alabama decision.
“Some have come harder, some have backed off,” he said. “I’m pretty strong to ‘Bama, I’m really just focused on my season here and then going there and getting to work.”
Baldwin, who plans on graduating from ASA in December, says he’s likely to attend the Alabama-LSU game November 7. No other visits have yet been planned.