An admitted Aggie fan, Baker had recently received an offer from the Ags. Only to be told shortly thereafter there was no more room in College Station at his position. Meanwhile, Baker's other favorite - the Rice Owls - hadn't offered yet. The Ags were only offering a "grayshirt" option as of Friday, which meant Gabe would have to wait until January 2011 to report.
Monday his situation changed however. Rice offered, Baker accepted. But the day was hardly without conflict for this bright young athlete from San Antonio's Northeast side.
"I had envisioned myself going to A&M. This is a swing of emotion for me, but I'm real excited about the opportunity to both study and play for a school like Rice."
After telling recruiting services that he was "leaving his options open" Monday, Baker called Rice coaches Monday night to solidify his committment.
He had received offers from Rice, Texas A&M, Tulsa, and SMU. Baylor and Oklahoma State had also inquired about Baker. He made trips to Junior Days at both Rice and Texas A&M.
After loading up in the Secondary with the 2009 Class, Rice only plans on taking one Safety in the 2010 Class. They obviously think highly of Baker's ability. For good reason.
In Rice's 4-2-5 Defensive scheme, the 6-1 190 Baker is considered to have the talent and intangibles to play any of the 3 Rice Safety positions - Free, Strong, or Weak (KAT).
He's been called "the best defensive player in the district" by a well respected coach in District 26-5A and is a sideline to sideline player with a real nose for the football. Highlight film of Baker shows that he arrives at the ball with force. He's an extremely aggressive player with great instincts.
I asked Gabe to describe himself as a player - with both his strengths and areas to work on.
"I really try to play aggressively. I play hard all the time. I have a physical style and I like to hit. I know I need to work on 1-on-1 drills for the next level. I can cover but the game will change in college."
Baker will be cleared to begin jogging next week after undergoing knee surgery earlier this spring.
"The knee feels fine. I can't wait to start running again."
As a result, Baker will not making the camp circuit this summer.
Okay with us Gabe. Welcome To Rice!