"I took an official visit there over the weekend, and it was awesome," says 6-foot-1, 240 pound linebacker Carlton Baker. "It was just perfect there, and I decided to commit."
Baker, who says he will play middle linebacker for UNC, had been talking about North Carolina for quite some time, according to Hutchinson Community College linebackers coach Jason Young.
"He was talking about them very highly before he visited, and he has talked about them non-stop."
The talk will probably continue as he found a home, but there is still work left to be done.
"I have to pass all my classes before I can enroll," Baker said. "I am doing well in all but one class. I did not start off well in Sociology with football, but I spoke with my professor in there, and he knows that I am going to work hard to get my grades up in there."
Should he pass all his courses this fall, Baker will enroll in January.
"They said they want me to enroll in January so that I can learn the plays. They basically put it all in front of me that if I cannot qualify for then, I will not be able to enroll. They want people that can help them out next year and if I enroll in August, I would start way behind everybody."
Baker would be able to enroll at any of the many schools that have already offered him at that time.
"With North Carolina's strict academics, they are higher than a lot of other schools. I just have to do the work to play where I want to play."
What attracted Baker to North Carolina, he says, was its youth and potential.
"I was hosted by (Melik) Brown, and he was a mid-year guy last year, so he knows how that goes. They have one senior that will not be back next year, but the rest of the middle linebackers are freshmen and redshirts, so I can step in right away. The thing that really got me was that even though they are young, they have a lot of potential."
Baker expects to step in right away, which is something he expected but has learned that he must earn after his two stops before Hutchinson.
"Coming out of high school, I was the number three linebacker in the nation. I was an All-American, and I expected to play early at Arkansas. Then I became a prop-48 kid, and went to the Sylvan Institute to work on my academics. Basically, it did not work at Arkansas, so I went to Alabama State and now to Hutchinson. Here, they really taught me a lot about how I have to do both football and academics, and it really gave me a new look on things. Now, I am ready for both."
We will soon find out if he is ready to buckle down to enter the school of his choosing.
Football commitment for UNC
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