City College of San Francisco offensive tackle Elliot Baker has seen his recruitment pick up at a rapid pace in recent weeks as offers have rolled in from coast to coast.
While unsurprised by the interest, the rate has caught Baker off-guard.
“My coaches told me weeks prior I’d be recruited pretty heavily, but I’m honestly sort of surprised that it picked up this quickly,” Baker said. “It’s all happening pretty fast. I wouldn’t say [I’m] surprised. I know the kind of player I am.”
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle, who will be a mid-year signee in December with three years to play two, received an Arizona State offer Jan. 20 and his recruitment spiked in the days that followed. Since offer No. 1, Baker has added offers from Iowa State, Illinois, Missouri, Louisville, Mississippi State, Georgia, Washington State and Hawaii.
Iowa State came in shortly after Signing Day.
“Coach [Alex] Golesh called me and he offered me as well, so that’s kind of when everything happened with Iowa State,” Baker said. “Coach Golesh actually initially messaged me and just asked how I was, kind of introduced himself and he was really fired up about my highlight tape. Then I talked to Coach [Tom] Manning and he just liked my physicality and my athleticism that I showcased.”
While Baker is in the learning stage with Iowa State and other schools, fellow City College of San Francisco lineman and 2016 Iowa State signee Oge Udeogu has already been talking to his teammate about the Cyclones.
Udegou arrives at Iowa State following the spring semester as a guard. The Cyclones hope to continue to bolster the offensive line with the 2017 class, likely with at least one JUCO.
“[Oge] heard about the Iowa State offer and we’ve kind of just been going back and forth,” Baker said. “He’s been telling me about Coach Manning and he’s the 2015 Offensive Line Coach of the Year and all this stuff.”
Manning has also had a message for Baker.
“He told me that I would be in a good position to come in right away and compete for a starting job,” Baker said. “He said that [I fit] into the mold and scheme of what they’re trying to do and that I’d be able to compete for playing time right away."
Baker isn’t in a hurry to make a decision and expects to take his allotted trips moving forward. For now, he’s focused on building relationships with offensive line coaches, which will be a key factor in addition to playing in a major conference.
“I’m not going to jump too far ahead and commit to a school without at least taking a visit,” Baker said. “I think it’s a valuable thing to build those relationships with the offensive line coach and the rest of the coaching staff early so I can have a really good perspective and make my choice later on. Right now I’m not trying to get too [far] ahead of myself.”