UT: Taker For Baker

Recruiting is about building solid relationships and a reputation that will stand the test of time. For example: Tennessee is currently the co-leader for Osceola, Ark., wide receiver Cameron Baker, who is the brother of D-I wide receiver Chris Baker, a player the Vols recruited a few years back and lost to Arkansas.

Steve Caldwell didn't get his man when he went after brother Chris, but because he did a good job recruiting the older sibling, the door swung open wide at the Baker home when he came back to Osceola to court Cameron.

Furthermore, Caldwell has a great reputation among high school coaches in Arkansas that goes back to his days at Arkansas State and has served him well as he has hauled in such notable prospects from the Natural State as Brett Smith, Cedric Houston, Reggie Coleman, Leslie Ratliff, James Turner and Roshaun Fellows.

Although he's not as highly rated as his older brother, Cameron Baker is a highly productive prospect with loads of potential. At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, the younger Baker has sub 4.5 speed and impressive athleticism. As a junior playing in a run-oriented Osceola offense, he caught 27 passes for 927 yards and 18 touchdowns for an awesome average of 34.3 yards per reception. He played in the secondary on defense and recorded 46 tackles with seven interceptions.

Baker had an eye-opening effort at the Scout.com Combine in Oxford, Miss., last spring in which he ran a 4.44 time in the 40, good for second in the receivers group. He tied for the best time (4.25) among wideouts in the shuttle. Baker also recorded a 4.43 in the 40 at the FCA Combine in Little Rock last April. Proving his speed wasn't a fluke, Baker clocked a 10.64 in the 100 meters last month, besting the Class-4A state record of 10.77.

"I was ranked as the third-best wide receiver at the combine and ran a 4.4 and since then I seen more interest," Baker told Scout.com's Yancy Porter. "I think I opened some more eyes."

Baker may have also opened some minds to the fact that not all good prospects come from densely population areas. For sure, the offers started to come in as did his options.

"I have great speed and a willingness to work hard and learn," Baker told Allen NeSmith of GoJacket.com. "I need to work more on my route running and my physicality, but I am not afraid at all to put in the time to do so.

"Any wide receiver wants the rock in his hands, but I also understand the importance of blocking."

Baker, who can play corner or wide receiver at the next level, attended Tennessee's senior camp and made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech in June. He is also considering offers from Arkansas and Arkansas State, while he's still being recruited by LSU and Kansas State.

When recently asked if he is ready to make a firm decision between his four frontrunners — Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Kansas State, and LSU, Baker responded: "Not really, but I'm very interested in both Tennessee and Georgia Tech."

It will be interesting to see how this recruiting story concludes.


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