PSU's Recruitment of Baker Heats Up

The Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine four-star linebacker details where Penn State stands following the Nittany Lions' recent Junior Day.

Jerome Baker had a familiarity with Penn State's old staff. But with offers and interests continuing to build up, he wanted to meet its new one, too.

The four-star Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine linebacker had the opportunity to do just that when he, his father and brother spent a majority of the Lions' recent Junior Day with linebackers coach Brent Pry.

"I pretty much spent the whole day with him, and I learned he's very excited and full of energy," Baker said. "He's the kind of guy I would want to play for, so I was pretty excited."

"I brought my dad and little brother, and they both had a good time. It was great spending time with them and all the different coaches and seeing their reaction. It was a great time."

Though he plays tight end for his high school team, as well, Penn State made clear that it sees him as an outside linebacker — which is why he spent so much time with Pry.

The linebackers coach was not the only face he saw plenty of, though, as Baker also chatted with head coach James Franklin.

"One thing I really did notice was the energy," Baker said. "This new staff is full of energy, and I'm really happy Penn State is going back to its old ways.

"Coach Franklin is very full of energy, and you can just tell his leadership and the way he goes all the way. It was a great opportunity to be able to talk to them, and I was just excited to be there. [Franklin] is a great guy and coach, and it was great listening to him speak."

Despite Penn State's struggle to land Ohio prospects in recent years, Baker said he believes it's a misconception that Buckeye State prospects don't consider the program, or that they lock into Ohio State once an offer presents itself from the home-state program.

"I give everybody an opportunity," Baker said. "I grew up a Penn State fan, and they have a big shot, really. If a school fits me, I'm not going to go here or not go there just because I'm an Ohio kid."

The linebacker added that he hopes to narrow his list, which currently stands at 17 offers, to eight or 10 before his senior season. He cancelled a scheduled trip to Michigan State Sunday due to illness.

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