Baker Has Become Leader Among WR Corps

The Florida Gators held their first scrimmage this past Tuesday and the wide receiver corps, which some bill as one of the top four or five units in the nation, had an uncharacteristic day. No less than seven passes were dropped by the Gators' edition of the Fab Four: Dallas Baker, Chad Jackson, Bubba Caldwell and Jemalle Cornelius.

Baker, who has added to a very productive spring with moments of brilliance in August, knows that the receivers are expected to set the pace for the entire time and that the dropsies have to become a thing of the past.

"I think it just comes from a lack of concentration," Baker said. "It is hotter than it has ever been before and practice is a lot tougher. I think we can pick up from that. We are recruited to come here and catch passes, so catching the ball shouldn't be a problem."

Baker knows that productive practices directly correlate to success on the field. There is plenty of talent but talent alone won't get the job done. The Fab Four have to come through and that starts with exceptional practices.

"I think we can be great, but we have to come out to practice and give 110 percent," he said. "If we come out to practice hard, the games will be second nature. The hardier the practice is, the easier the game."

The Fab Four are all juniors. They should be leaders on the team and be able to expect criticism from their teammates, especially each other. Baker, Andre Caldwell, Chad Jackson, and Cornelius are part of an electric group that sometimes needs to keep each other on their toes. They know the sky is the limit for this group.

"We get on each other even when we miss a block," Baker said. "We know we have to give 110 percent effort out here. Well I am pretty comfortable in the offense, but there are always some things we have to work on. We need to block (better) run our routes precisely, I am very excited about this offense."

The practices have been really tough and with the depth issues, quarterback Gavin Dickey has seen a lot of time at wide receiver. On Thursday, quarterback Cornelius Ingram was lining up at receiver and running some routes. Baker said the heat was taking it's toll.

"We had to put him out there because a couple of receivers legs were tired, which shows you our receivers need all the help we can get," he said.

Baker has seen his name light up the newspapers before, only at the wrong time. For three springs now, he has been an exceptional player, only to have his performances not add up to much when it counts. He has grown up and looks for a big year.

"That was my problem before, I was putting too much pressure on myself," he said. "(Now) I have high expectations for myself, but pressure isn't really a problem. I am just ready to go out and help my team."

Dallas Baker should be a huge part of the Florida offense in 2005. He seems to be the receiver that will be getting most of the screens, he is a great jump-ball receiver, and he can run as well as most in the SEC. Meyer and Offensive Coordinator Dan Mullen said this spring he probably runs the best routes of the receivers. Baker could have a breakout season.

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