ASU Recruit Lamar Baker

The talented ASU 2001 recruiting class all started with Lamar Baker, the first high school player to commit to the Sun Devils. The local Aqua Fria high school graduate, arguably the best Arizona high school player last year, said the hometown team was an easy sell.

"I like what I saw the first time." Said Baker "What caught my eye first was the academics. ASU wasn't just about playing Football, the academics were important too. I want to major in Sociology and I liked that program at ASU." The Sun Devils had to contend with many schools when landing the services of this phenom cornerback, but the campus' location did eventually win him over. "UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Tennessee, and Nebraska were all recruiting me. Staying close to home did factor in. I'm very close to my mom and my son." Being the earliest of the ASU commits, Baker naturally had some alliance to former head coach Bruce Snyder. "I wish Snyder could have stayed, but when left I just kept my word and stayed committed to ASU. It really didn't affect me too much that the coaches changed. I don't think it affected my chances of playing; it's all the same. I do find that coach Koetter is different than Snyder, in how precise he is. If you don't do something right, coach Koetter won't let it go until it's prefect."

While his world-class speed (4.5 in the 40), is Lamar's most noticeable attribute, his tackling hardly comes second. "I love hitting (Baker recorded 126 tackles his senior year). I played safety at high school, which let me tackle a lot and cover wide receivers too. I feel that my tackling is just as good as my speed. I think my speed is a god-given talent, but I do work hard on it and I know I can improve. Physically I know I'm set, I just want to work on getting quicker. I know that I also have to make a mental adjustment from playing high school to playing division I college Football." One would think that a defensive player, who ran for 1,100 yards, would have even the slightest desire to play both ways on the next level. That's hardly the case with this ASU freshman. "Even though I ran for a lot of yards playing running back, I don't like offense at all. I'm happy playing cornerback. It works out better for me. I think playing running back did help me with my footwork. If I get an interception, I know what to do with the ball and take it to the house (smile)."

On a recent DevilsDigest.com poll, Baker won in a landslide as the freshman most likely to contribute the most this season. While Dirk Koetter and his staff have the same idea, the freshman cornerback knows that nothing is a given. "The coaches don't think I will redshirt, but nobody really knows yet. It's too early to decide now. If they want to redshirt me that's fine. It will be a learning year for me. I have to work hard in practice either way." Another boost to Baker's chances of early play is the uncertainty at in the Sun Devil secondary. "The cornerback situation does open up a lot of opportunities. I'm a very competitive person so I look forward to the competition. The better the competition the better I'll get."

Playing cornerback in the "pass-happy" Pac-10, is a daunting task for any conference cornerback, let alone a true freshman. The blatant inexperience of ASU in that position, can only make coaches and fans alike wonder if the Sun Devils will be repeated victims of a the big play. If the defensive backfield defies its inexperience and doubters, chances are that Lamar Baker, true freshman and all, will be one of the main reasons for this pleasant surprise.

Recruit Profile

Name Lamar Baker

High School Aqua Fria, Avondale, AZ

Position Cornerback

Height 5'10"

Weight 187

Date of Birth 10/22/81

Hometown Avondale, AZ

Nickname Shake n' Bake

Favorite TV Show The Murrays

Favorite Movie The Fast And The Furious

Favorite Singer Genuine

Favorite Food Chicken

Favorite Drink Gatorade

Favorite Athlete J.R. Redmond

Favorite Pro Team San Francisco 49ers

Person you most admire My Mom. She's been with me through thick and thin.

First Football Memory My freshman year, my first tackle. I was little dizzy, but that big hit made me e hitter I am now.

One Thing most people don't know about me I'm a really good and nice person.

Why did you choose ASU? The academics

Where do you want to be in ten years? If the NFL doesn't work out, I'd like to be a chef in an upscale restaurant.

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