Baker slowing things down

Bellevue (Wash.) athlete Budda Baker adds to his offer list while preparing for what he hopes is a big senior season

Bellevue athlete Budda Baker has already been hyped as the can't miss prospect out of the Pacific Northwest, and he showed why back in July at The Opening in Oregon, where he impressed onlookers with his play in the secondary and as a wide receiver.

Thanks to his performance and a recommendation from his teammate at The Opening, quarterback and Texas A&M verbal commit Kyle Allen, Baker picked up a big offer from the Aggies recently.

"When we were done with The Opening, he talked a lot to the coaches about me," Baker said.

Baker said that he had received letters prior to the offer, but things didn't get serious until recently. He called the offer "a blessing", and placed the Aggies among his top five along with Washington, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State.

"That was really nice to see, because I know A&M is an SEC school and they don't really recruit out in the northwest," he said.

Allen isn't the only player trying to recruit Baker to his school. Cornerback Arrion Springs, who verbally committed to Oregon at The Opening, has been pushing for Baker to come to become a Duck as well.

But, Oregon and Baker have been mutually taking their time with one another, something that he appreciates with his focus tuned in to the upcoming football season, where he wants to lead Bellevue to a state title.

"A lot of schools are kind of pushing me, but Oregon is just taking it slow as well," Baker said. "They're telling me to take my recruiting process slow and that I'll know whatever school I want in the long run."

Wide receivers coach Matt Lubick has also been doing his part by pitching for Baker to come to Oregon as a slot receiver, but is also leaving the door open for secondary coach John Neal to use him in the secondary.

"He's telling me that if I play offense, I'll be close to playing early, as well as defense too," Baker said. "He said ‘it's up to you whatever you want to play.'"

Baker has said that he prefers to play defense, but added that more schools want to see what he can do offensively. Out of his top five, only UCLA is sticking to scouting Baker exclusively as a defensive back, according to the safety.

"I feel like I can play defense, even if there's people ahead of me," Baker said. "I feel like I could start. If I really have to play offense, I'll play offense as well."

Baker plans on taking official visits to each of his top five schools as of right now, but is leaving the door open for other unofficial visits.

"I haven't set up any officials," Baker said. "I'm just talking to schools right now and taking it slow. I won't commit until later on after the season."

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