Baker adds Irish to the mix

Outside linebacker Jerome Baker of Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine recently added an offer from Notre Dame. He plans on narrowing his list in two weeks, and he talks about how the Irish will factor into his future plans.

Notre Dame offered junior four-star linebacker Jerome Baker of Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine last week.

"Notre Dame came by my school last week," Baker said. "It was my area recruiter, Coach (Mike) Elston, and he said that he liked my film and that I should expect to hear some good news soon. On Friday, I called him and he congratulated me on getting offered."

"Notre Dame is definitely a prestigious program and a winning program," Baker said.

"I guess you could say I have been kind of waiting for them to show interest in me. So, I'm really excited about this offer."

Baker said Elston told him the target number the Irish want to take in this class at linebacker.

"They want two linebackers," Baker said. "One inside linebacker and one outside linebacker."

Baker plans to be on Notre Dame's campus for his first visit in the near future with his father. This spring, he visited Florida, Michigan State and Tennessee.

"My dad and I talked it over, and we are going to visit sometime in June," Baker said. "I'm just not sure of the date."

Baker said he doesn't have any other visits set up for the summer.

"The Irish are my main focus right now," Baker said.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker is planning on narrowing down his large list of contenders in upcoming weeks.

"I don't have any favorites, but I'm coming out with a list this month," Baker said.

Baker grew up an Ohio State fan, but that changed slightly in the 7th grade.

"I really liked Ohio State as a kid until I visited Penn State in the 7th grade, and then I started liking Penn State more, but it was still kind of split."

Now, both Penn State and Ohio State are very much in the mix to land Baker.

"Two schools that come to mind that are recruiting me hard and that I have good relationships with are Florida and Ohio State," Baker said. "Penn State is definitely up there, too."

Baker plans to take official visits in the fall and make his decision after that.

"I'm focused on three things," Baker said. "Academics, tradition and atmosphere. Location is not an issue."

The linebacker first answered "speed" when asked to describe his game on the field.

"I'm a linebacker, but I can run like a running back," Baker said, who was timed in the 40-yard dash last summer at 4.5 seconds at the Nike combine. "I have good speed and instincts, and I'm explosive."

Baker is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 49 outside linebacker in the class 2015.

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