Will Muschamp stole a major recruit right out from under the nose of Urban Meyer on Friday morning with the addition of 4-star linebacker Jerome Baker. A Cleveland native, Baker had vacillated between Ohio State and Florida before finally settling on the Gators around mid-week.
He was recruited heavily by defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, whose strong close helped steer Baker away from Columbus. Per 247Sports:
“The thing about Florida, I was thinking about them for a while, and then on Monday I flipped and it was Ohio State,” Baker said. “I talked to my family and Coach Durkin again, and he cleared some things up that were said and I knew I was coming and I’m a Gator.”
According to Baker, UF’s steel-eyed confidence and lack of charades during the recruiting process were both strong selling points.
“Florida out of all the schools were not nervous,” Baker said. “They knew they did everything they could that wasn’t overboard, that calm and collectiveness stood out to me, and that showed me the real deal.”
Jerome Baker is the 10th commitment for the Gators’ 2015 class – one that, should the chips fall as expected, could be a monster. He is listed by 247Sports as the No. 4 Athlete in the country, though he will play linebacker at UF. ESPN has him graded as Florida’s top recruit to date.
Below is a video of the new Florida Gator discussing his decision with Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee, and then a shot of the first (of surely many) Gator Chomps.
Jerome Baker with his first Gator chomp as a Florida commit pic.twitter.com/NR9hTDLEQQ
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) July 11, 2014