Class of 2005: Toney Baker

Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale Junior Running Back <B>Toney Baker</b> is now the state's leading rusher, gaining over 2300 yards and 29 touchdowns on the ground. This Friday, Ragsdale battles Trinity High School and the state's #2 rusher, John McEachin.

"I think it will be a good game," Toney Baker told StateFans. "I think they'll snap [John] the ball and just let him run. He plays quarterback for them so I think he will run a lot of draws and counters."

Baker, who some consider the state's top junior prospect and its best running back (regardless of class), is beginning to see his recruitment pick up. He's happy with how it has progressed thus far.

"It's going real well. It's not too hectic, and I'm ready for it. I just got an offer from Tennessee and Carolina's been recruiting me a lot. Those two are all I know of that have offered me right now, but the other schools I like have sent me letters and stuff. I know it's still early so I'm not too worried about all of that."

Considering the Tarheels and Volunteers have put forth early offers, are they considered the front-runners?

"Well, I'm looking at [North] Carolina, [NC] State, and maybe Virginia Tech. I'm really wanting to play in the ACC, and I don't want to go too far away."

What does Baker like about the two in-state schools, NC State and North Carolina?

"[NC] State has lovely facilities and it's beautiful over there. I like the coaches... I mean it's just a great place that I feel comfortable at because it has such a good atmosphere."

"At [North] Carolina I like the coaches too. I think I can make an impact there quick. They are on me hard right now as a junior. I know next year even more schools will be on me, but they are probably recruiting me the hardest right now."

With recruiting comes visits, and Toney's taken unofficial visits to both programs for games.

"I've been to two NC State games, and two Carolina games. State's fans are into it, and that adds to the atmosphere there. Carolina's losing right now and their fans aren't really filling up the seats. I think I'll be going to the NC State-Virginia game this week."

As previously mentioned, Baker has offers from UNC and Tennessee, but not the Wolfpack. That doesn't seem to bother him as he's confident NC State will put forth an offer in the near future.

"I'm sure they will. I believe they like me and they show me they are interested in me. I talk to Coach Amato when I go there for games, and he's a good guy."

NC State has T.A. McLendon with Virginia Tech having Kevin Jones. The Volunteers will have Gerald Riggs Jr. and North Carolina has a freshman named Ronnie McGill. Is Baker concerned with the running backs at each of these schools?

"I'm not worried about other players. I'm just going to decide on what school holds my future the best, and when I get there I'm just going to work my hardest to be the best."

Most would think Toney's looking to be a late signee given the high praise he's received. But, that may not be the case.

"I don't know...when I feel it then that's when it's going to come out."


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