Recruit to watch: OL Sam Baker

Tustin's Sam Baker is one of the most sought after offensive linemen in the West and he recently narrowed his list down to two schools. Are the Trojans one of those?

Baker, 6'5, 315 pounds, is a prototypical guard that dominates the line of scrimmage. As a junior, he was named first team All-League and first team All-CIF. He's also one half of the Tustin Duo, along with tight end/defensive end Chris Barrett, who have begun talk of signing as a package deal.

Playing for a team that primarily runs the ball, Baker explained that his strengths lie in that aspect of the game right now, "Just run blocking. Run blocking, like pulling and trapping and all of that. We run the double-wing, where we probably pass once or maybe twice a game."

Despite all of the recruiting attention Baker has received, he has already narrowed his list down to two schools, "Just basically SC and Florida," he said. "SC is probably on top, but Florida is real close."

In discussing USC, Baker explained, "I like the coaching staff a lot and they seem like they're winners. They're a team on the rise. They got a real good recruiting class last year. They seem like a team that can compete for a National Championship in a couple years," he said. "I've talked to Coach Carroll, Coach Kennedy Pola, and Coach Orgeron a lot. They're great. Coach Orgeron is real cool." The big guard has also had a couple of opportunities to have a look at the USC campus up close, "I went on Junior Day and I went on an unofficial visit a couple months before that. They took us on a tour and we walked around the school and they told us a lot about the school. That was when I was offered. I think it was a month after the season and they offered us there, me and Chris."

On his other favorite, Florida, Baker noted, "They're just a big time program and the coaches are real cool there. Coach Tolbert, I've talked to him a couple of times. He's real cool. It's just a big time program."

In deciding between the two schools, Baker has a few factors he's looking at, "Just how I'm going to fit into the offense, early playing time, the depth chart, and education," he said. "My parents would probably like me to stay home, but my Dad lives in New York and my Mom lives here. She'd probably like me to stay home."

Although package deals rarely work out, the likelihood of both Baker and Barrett attending the same school does appear to be pretty high, and whoever lands them will be getting quite a deal as both are among the top rated prospects in the nation, "Yeah, we're pretty much going to the same school," said Baker. When asked to give a percentage on the possibility of that happening, he said, "Right now, probably 95% or 90%."

Baker has been known to spend a lot of time in the weight room and he's been busy working out this summer, "Our team meets at six o'clock in the morning and we lift three days a week and we run pretty much five days a week. I go back and lift extra though." He currently maxes 355 pounds on the bench, 505 pounds on squat, and 320 pounds on power cleans.

Baker, who is already academically qualified, plans on taking his trips and "going through the process." Top Stories