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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Watch List DL checks out FSU, talks UGA

By Radi Nabulsi

Kendall Baker (Atlanta/Marist) made the ESPN Watch List as a defensive lineman, but he is equally talented on the offensive line. He says that blocking comes naturally to him and will play whichever side of the ball will allow him to see the field early in college.

With that in mind, Baker took in Florida State over the weekend to see what the Seminoles had to offer.

“I liked the campus,” he said. “I had always heard it was beautiful. Even though it was raining it was still nice. The program has been back on the rise and I like that about it. I wanted to meet all the coaches for the first time in person and not just on the phone. They are really impressed with my work on the field this past year.”

Baker did not get to spend much time with Jimbo Fisher, but the Seminoles coach reached out to him Monday.

“I got to talk to Coach Fisher on the phone today," Baker said, "because we had a long trip home and we couldn't wait for afterwards.”

Although closer to home, he missed the recent junior day hosted by the University of Georgia.

“I am hearing from Georgia a lot,” Baker said. “I was supposed to go there for a junior day I didn’t make it down because we had a regional basketball tournament. But I will get over to Athens soon but I don’t know when.”

When he is not posting up on the low blocks as a power forward, the 6-foot-5, 270-pound junior is picking up offers, as he did recently from NC State and Louisiana-Lafayette. Baker already had offers from Clemson, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Washington.

And there is one particular offer he and his mother would like.

“Georgia is an offer I would love to have because it is the in-state school,” Baker said. “That way I could be close to home and wouldn’t have far to go between there and home. Georgia is in my top five right now. If they offered me that would make it even better than it is now. My mom really likes them too.”

Baker admits that his mom has an obvious agenda.

“Well, I am pretty sure she likes Georgia being close,” Baker said. “I usually joke around with my mom and tell her I am going all the way to California. She gets mad at me.”

That is not to say he won’t be leaving the Peach State to play football, and he has some visits in mind.

“I plan on going to visit Tennessee,” he said. “I hear from the coaches there a lot on Facebook and I call them sometimes too.”

Baker also plans to take in Clemson soon.

“Coach [Marion] Hobby at Clemson is really cool,” he said. “He and I have been talking and he came to visit me a couple times at school. I want to get to Clemson to see what they have to offer me up there.”

Baker said he grew up a fan of Georgia and Florida. So which team was he rooting for when the two met last October?

“I was rooting for Georgia because it is the home-state school, so I had to go for them,” Baker said. “I always have to go for the home school.”