After months of speculation, and nearly two years of being recruited by Urban Meyer and his staff, Jerome Baker is finally a Buckeye.
The Baker File
- Size: 6-2/210
- Position: ATH
- Class: 2015
- School: Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio)
- 247 Composite Rating: ★★★★
- 247 Composite Rank: 4th (Athlete)
The decision to join the Ohio State's "Elite '15" comes roughly three months after Baker, at a summer press conference held at his high school, spurned the Buckeyes for the Florida Gators.
Offered by Ohio State in April of 2013, Baker has been a priority in the recruiting class for nearly 18 months, longer than most. After repeated visits to Columbus and consistently naming Ohio State his leader during his recruitment, Baker flipped the script on the Buckeyes and the entire state of Ohio by a sudden, and unexpected pledge to Florida, despite only one two-day visit to Gainesville.
Urban Meyer, who seems blessed with a naturally ability to flip committed recruits, never gave up on Baker and welcomed the linebacker to Columbus two weeks ago for a visit for the Cincinnati game.
With Florida festering and head coach Will Muschamp likely on the outs, the tug of playing near his family proved too much for Baker and he made it official on Twitter Tuesday night:
I am officially flipping my commitment from Florida to THE Ohio State University. Thanks for all your support. pic.twitter.com/WxrvliX74Y— Baker Inc. (@Lastname_Baker) October 22, 2014
Rivals.com's top-rated player in the state will join composite five-star prospect Justin Hilliard, who committed to Ohio State in July, at outside linebacker for the Buckeyes next season. Hilliard wasted little time welcoming his new future teammate to the fold:
As a junior, the U.S. Army All-American racked up 120 tackles and more than 1,400 yards rushing the ball for Benedictine. His Benedictine Bengals are 7–1 this fall.