Oregon Likes Baker's Character

Bellevue (Wash.) defensive back Budda Baker has a few Pac-12 teams who have been in frequent contact.

Budda Baker has been called the top prospect in Washington for the class of 2014, but the defensive back has been busy away from football while finishing up his track season.

"It's been kind of soft right now," Baker said of recruiting. "I just ended track yesterday. I'm just starting up football again."

Despite this, the 5-foot-10, 177-pound safety has been hearing frequently from a few schools in the Pac-12 conference.

"Right now Washington has (been in contact), UCLA and Oregon and Arizona State," Baker said.

Baker, who holds an offer from Oregon, has been in weekly contact with defensive backs coach John Neal, trading messages via Facebook and occasionally talking over the phone. Neal also visited Baker at Bellevue two weeks ago and talked with him.

"The main thing he talked to me about was my character," Baker said. "He knows I'm a good football player, but he likes my character and how I'm a humble kid and those things besides football."

Baker said that the candid nature in which Oregon has recruited him has been a positive.

"They keep it real with you," Baker said. "They're not going to tell you 'when you get here, you're going to start'. I don't want to hear that. I just want to hear what it takes to get that starting position and that's what they're doing."

Due to his busy schedule, Baker has been unable to take visits, but he plans on taking some this summer, including one to Oregon. He said he has briefly discussed the possibility of playing on offense as well with coaches, but the primary focus is on defense.

Baker did not name any favorites, but he said he has learned some things during his recruitment that will aid him in his decision.

"I've been getting recruited since my sophomore year, so I can tell by each year which schools are progressing or see if schools are going downhill," Baker said.

In college, Baker plans to pursue an education in law enforcement.


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