BLOOMINGTON – Edward Wright-Baker's first impression was a memorable one.
In his first season as a starting high school quarterback, the 6-2, 200-pounder from Jeffersonville (Ind.) H.S. accounted for more than 2,600 yards of offense and 39 touchdowns while leading his team to a 10-3 record and a sectional championship.
Those numbers and Wright-Baker's skills have grabbed the attention of college football coaches nationwide.
"He's a dual-threat quarterback who is a tremendous athlete," said Jeffersonville Coach Steve Cooley. "He's an athletic, Kellen Lewis-type, someone who can scramble and make big plays with his feet as well as throwing it."
Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville are among the programs who have already offered a scholarship, and others are looking at him closely as well. Future Purdue head coach Danny Hope was at the high school Tuesday, while Michigan State has also stopped in. Colorado and Stanford are among the others who have been placed calls to Cooley about his standout signal caller.
While some programs such as Louisville are recruiting him as an athlete, Cooley believes Wright-Baker has the skills and the desire to play quarterback at the next level.
"I think one of the things he's looking for is someone who is going to give him a fair chance to play quarterback," Cooley said.
That's what the IU staff has in mind. The Hoosiers were one of the first on the scene thanks in large part to IU head coach Bill Lynch's ties with Cooley. Cooley has known Lynch since Lynch was an assistant on Bill Mallory's IU staff in the 1990s and Cooley was an assistant coach at Bloomington South. Their paths have crossed on numerous other occasions, since Cooley is a 13-year high school head coaching veteran who also spent five years at Ft. Wayne Harding while Lynch was the head coach at Ball State.
"I let them know about Edward, and they watched film on him and they were really interested in him last winter," Cooley said. "They were probably ahead of everyone else in the recruiting race because he's an in-state kid and I know all of them really well."
Ever since the IU staff found out about Wright-Baker, they've been in hot pursuit. New IU assistant coach Dennis Springer is the Hoosiers' lead recruiter in the Jeffersonville/Louisville area, and he was at the high school last Monday, the first day college coaches could be in for evaluations.
"They see him as a difference maker who potentially could be a Kellen Lewis type for them down the road," Cooley said.
Wright-Baker's statistics bear those thoughts out. He completed 112-of-206 passes for 1,502 yards and 20 scores last season and was picked off only four times. On the ground, Wright-Baker added another 1,122 yards on 164 carries (6.8 yards/carry) to go along with another 19 scores.
He has a strong arm and the type of athleticism that makes him a threat whenever the ball is in his hands.
"He can put his foot down and it looks like he got shot out of a cannon when he explodes and breaks the line of scrimmage and is gone, on any play," Cooley said.
Cooley said he plans to sit down with Wright-Baker and his mother after the spring evaluation period concludes so he can begin narrowing down his choices. While a decision probably won't come from that meeting, Cooley's hope is that Wright-Baker can get down to a manageable number of options so he can begin to focusing in on where he wants to play his college football.
"We'll sit down and go through each school and get his thoughts," Cooley said. "I want to make sure he's visited every school and met with each coach, and then narrow it down to three or four. He doesn't need 8-10 offers out there. He needs to prioritize what he wants and see what their interest is and how many quarterbacks they're taking and what direction they want to go form there."
Wright-Baker Looking For the Right Fit
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