Bruins Will Make Baker's Cut

The Bellevue (Wash.) safety, Budda Baker, said UCLA will be on his short list...

Bellevue (Wash.) safety Budda Baker is one of the premier safeties in the country and the top prospect in the Northwest, holding offers from all over the nation and from each Pac-12 school.

But with more offers than he can count, Baker plans to start whittling down his list, and it will happen sooner rather than later.

"Pretty soon, actually," said Baker. "I want to get into the regular season with the five schools that will get my official visits. I'll narrow it down soon. I'm not committing early, though, I'm doing it after the season and taking all five trips."

There are three schools that Baker said are definitely making the cut.

"Washington, UCLA and Oregon for sure," said Baker.

USC was the last Pac-12 school to offer Baker, and he said he's still considering the Trojans, and hopes to see them after he visits UCLA.

"I'm going to consider them and maybe when I get down to UCLA (for the elite camp), I'll go over to USC," said Baker.

But for now, the three programs -- Oregon, Washington and UCLA -- are the only ones that can be certain they'll be in it until the end with Baker.

"When I commit, I'm not going to be talking to any other schools, it will just be me and the school that I'm committed to," said Baker. "When I commit, I'm done with recruiting. So that's why I want to narrow my list down and take all of my visits so I know for sure."

Baker said a number of schools came by to see him during the spring, but the three known finalists are the ones he's developed the best relationship with.

"Washington, all the coaches are recruiting me, Coach Tui (Marques Tuiasosopo), Coach (Peter) Sirmon, Coach (Keith) Heyward and Coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian)," said Baker. "At Oregon, Coach John Neal is recruiting me the most there. And at UCLA, Coach Jim (Mora), Coach Meat (Demetrice Martin) and Coach (Steve) Broussard are all recruiting me."

Baker, 5-10, 170, knows that he needs to put on more weight to play safety in college, but that's the position he wants to play at the next level.

"A lot of schools ask me what I want to play and when they ask me, I say defense," said Baker. "I know Oregon likes my offensive ability but they respect that I want to play defense. I like to hit. I might be small, but I just want to hit people. I want to play safety but I know I need to get more meat on my bones. Now that track is done, it's just football and it's time to get bigger. I want to be 175-180 by the season and up around 190 in college."

Baker will attend the Oregon NFTC next month and said he's planning to camp at Washington's Rising Stars and UCLA's Elite Camp in June.

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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