Does 09 RB Edwin Baker have a Leader?

Oak Park (MI) RB Edwin Baker exploded on the instate football scene last year despite an injury-shortened junior campaign. College coaches saw enough in his abbreviated season to cause them to send scholarship offers his way. Has an early leader emerged?

Rushing for 1295 yards and eight touchdowns in a full season is a very good accomplishment for most high school players. Putting up those numbers on just 113 carries (11.46 yards per carry) in only six games is more than very good… it’s excellent. Oak Park (MI) running back Edwin Baker was excellent on the football field last year, piling up those stats without the benefit of playing in every game. Programs from across the country have taken notice this big play ability.

“I’m hearing mostly from Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan State, and Purdue,” Baker said. “Tennessee hasn’t offered me yet, but Georgia, Purdue, Texas, and Michigan State have.”

Rich Rodriguez has been on the job a mere few months and spent the majority of his initial time in Ann Arbor locking down his first recruiting class as Michigan’s head coach. Now his attention has turned to the 2009 crop and Baker is one of the youngsters receiving early interest.

“One of the coaches came down (to Oak Park High School),” said Baker. “He was talking (to Coach Hopkins) about the new (practice) facility they’re building.”

Baker is currently in the process of obtaining information on all of his suitors and hopes to get an up close and personal feel for many of them in the not-too-distant future.

“I’m going to a Michigan State basketball game on one of these upcoming Sundays,” he reported. “I’m going to try to make it to as many schools as possible before the summer. I’ve got outdoor track coming up so I’ll get to schools when I can. Right now I’m conditioning for track. I’m at about 195 right now.
I got invited to the Nike camp so should be ready when I go down there. When the summer comes around, I’m going to go to a few summer camps too.”

If at some point Baker is blown away by one of the schools, the youngster has ruled out committing on the spot… even if it’s before the end of his junior season. For that to happen, though, the program in question would have to meet some very specific criteria.

“I’m looking at a lot of things,” Baker explained. “How many running backs they’ve got on the team, where I’m at on their recruiting list… #1? #2?, #3?, 4? Do I have a chance to play right away? I’m going to be looking at everything.”

Right now, Baker’s plan is to follow through with giving every program a good look. That said, there currently sticks out as his leader.

“I’d have to say right now it’s Michigan State,” he admitted. “Tennessee was my favorite school growing, but they haven’t offered me.”

And where does Michigan stand?

“I don’t know anything about (the new staff),” Baker said. “It’s fair to say they’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

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