Baker Makes Stop in L.A.

The Bellevue (Wash.) four-star safety, Budda Baker, spent time with his former teammate this weekend in Los Angeles...

Bellevue (Wash.) safety Budda Baker (5-10, 176) had quite the week.

One of his top three schools lost its coach and gained a new one, another one held on to its coach, he won a state title and he took an unofficial visit.

On Monday, Steve Sarkisian left Washington for USC. On Tuesday, UCLA held on to Jim Mora. On Friday morning, Washington hired Chris Petersen. On Friday night, Baker capped his high school career by scoring the final touchdown of the game in their 3A state championship win over Eastside Catholic. On Saturday morning, Baker flew down to Los Angeles for an unofficial visit to UCLA. And on Sunday evening, he returned home.

Other than that, it was a normal week for Baker.

"It's been crazy and I didn't want to talk recruiting because I wanted to worry about our state championship game," said Baker. "My phone was ringing all day Friday and I didn't want to worry about it because we had a game."

It was the final prep game for Baker, aside from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next month.

And Baker put the exclamation point on a 42-0 career with three state championships by scoring the final touchdown of the game.

"This game ranks No. 1 because you're only as good as your last game. I'm blessed to have a great team, a great win and another ring. I haven't played much into the fourth quarter so I was a little tired. We did the same play like five times in a row and I was grinding and grinding and grinding and I got that touchdown," said Baker.

Saturday morning, Baker got on early morning flight for Los Angeles, got to UCLA and was able to see their first bowl practice.

"It was mostly just to be around the team," said Baker. "I spent just a little time with the coaches. But I had a good time."

Baker spent the weekend with his close friend and former Bellevue teammate Myles Jack, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

"Myles had a real big year and I'm not surprised because I knew what kind of player he was before he even got there," said Baker.

Baker plans to be back in Los Angeles next month for an official visit.

"I'm going back in January for my official," said Baker. "I'll spend more time with the coaches and on campus."

Baker is ready for an even busier next couple of weeks.

Next weekend, Baker will officially visit Washington and will get a chance to meet Petersen and the new Husky staff.

Before that, he's expecting to have Oregon, UCLA and Washington all in for an in-home.

This past week, Matt Lubick, Oregon's receiver coach, had an in-home with Baker, as well as Justin Wilcox and Keith Heyward from Washington.

"It's funny because now Coach Heyward is at USC," said Baker.

So will Baker look at USC with several familiar faces joining Sarkisian on the staff?

"I think they're going to recruit me," said Baker. "I never really paid attention to them, even though I offered, so I might now. I have an extra official to take."

Baker will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl the first weekend in January then will visit UCLA later in the month.

A decision will come soon after.

"I don't think I'll wait until Signing Day, but it will probably be after my last visit," said Baker.

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOX Sports, 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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