Sam Baker Has It Down To Two

Two Pac-10 teams are the front-runners for the services of this standout lineman. Where do the Sun Devils fit in his recruiting picture? four-star recruit does have USC as his leader, but ASU is very close behind. Baker described the various factors he likes about the Devils. "I've been recruited by ASU since my sophomore year. I like that it's pretty close to home, and that they have a family atmosphere. You can tell that they're a good and proud program." He was also impressed by the surprising season that ASU had. "Nobody really expected much from them, and they played great. You can just tell that this a very young team that has good coaching, and a bright future."

The lineman took a visit to Oregon last month, and his visit to ASU on the 17th will only be his second one to date. Currently, he has no other official visits scheduled after his visit to Tempe. He was scheduled to visit Ohio State, but a time conflict has caused him to postpone that trip. "Maybe I'll end up visiting Ohio State, I don't know. I also may visit Nebraska."

Baker played in the high school All-Star game in San Antonio last week. His only disappointment in the Alamo city was learning during his measurements that his 6-5 frame now carries 330 pounds ("I couldn't believe it" he said with a smile). Otherwise, he described the few days spent there as a "Neat experience. I learned a lot about Football. I also got to meet great figures that thought me about life - ex-players like Anthony Munoz and Jim Kelly. It was great hearing guys that went through the same recruiting stuff I am. I just learned a lot from those guys." As far as the game itself, the Tustin HS star was proud that despite his worries on the pass blocking aspect of his game, he wasn't sacked on once. Another memorable experience was meeting fellow ASU prospect defensive end Kyle Caldwell. "Man, he's something! We talked a little about ASU recruiting both of us. I guess it would be neat to play with him."

The offensive guard believes that his strongest skills are: "Pulling, trapping, and run blocking. I need to work on my pass blocking, and I want to go down in weight." Baker has been enjoying the recruiting process saying that: "You always have to be thankful that all your hard work is paying off. You have all these schools out there wanting to give you a free education - that's just a once in a lifetime experience. Sure it has its bad moments, but it's still a neat experience." Comfort level on and off the field is one of the biggest factors that will lure Baker to his school of choice. The Sun Devils hope that the lineman's visit to Tempe can paint a very relaxed picture in his mind that eventually may lead him donning the maroon and gold in the 2003 season.

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