Ryan Baker had a fine junior season last year recording 42 tackles, 26 assists, 30 quarterback pressures and 9 sacks. He also caught 13 passes for 251 yards as a tight end. His performance was good enough to land him on the All-State team as a junior and he was awarded the Indy Star North Player of the Year honor. Baker also has a couple of State Championships under his belt in football.
Some big programs are recruiting Baker and he has the offers to prove it. "I have offers from Stanford, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Boston College, Kentucky, Northwestern, Ball State, Florida, Western Kentucky, Michigan State, Toledo, Virginia Tech and West Virginia so far," said Baker. Many more schools have been calling.
Baker has visited Notre Dame during a spring practice and just returned for their junior day this weekend. "I fell in love with the place. Everyone is positive, loyal and productive there. They have a great coach, great football players and they have that good balance between academics and football. I felt real at home."
Baker said he didn't get to spend a lot of time with Coach Willingham on this trip but did during his visit during spring practice. "I really didn't get to talk to him that much because there were so many people there," said Baker. "When we went during the spring, I got to speak to him for a long time. I did get to speak to Coach Walters, Coach Mattison and Coach Baer a lot. They said that they're very interested in me and they were going to sit down and decide sometime soon who they were going to offer."
Baker plans to take his time with recruiting and is waiting to see which schools seem the most interested. "I might make an early decision but it has to feel right. It's going to be the place I live for the next four or five years. I am going to go to a couple of summer camps. I will probably go to Notre Dame and Michigan for sure. After that, I will probably just go visit some schools."
The Baker family has already visited Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Kentucky, Toledo and Western Kentucky on unofficial visits.
So what will Baker be looking for during these camps and unofficial visits? "The people," said Baker. "I want to look at the atmosphere and see how I fit in with the people there. I like a positive environment. Good academics are important and I just want a family atmosphere where I feel comfortable."
Baker says he is wide open at this point. "I really don't have a leader. I'm open to anyone that wants to recruit me. I am going to go visit some schools over the summer, see who offers and then see if I am ready to make a decision."
Comments. As always, the comments section are my thoughts and not the thoughts of the prospect.
I think the Irish are setting good with Baker. If they Irish offer, I think Notre Dame will be in this race until the end. He really seems to like Notre Dame, Willingham and the school. Just have to wait and see what happens with an offer.