Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Ohio State Buckeyes [Print without images]

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Rising sophomore warms up to OSU, U-M

By Brad Bournival

Jerome Baker (Cleveland/Benedictine) can’t remember what his stats were last season. He just knows they were good. Apparently, everyone else knows, too, as the sophomore earned the rare moniker of All-Ohioan as a 10th-grader.

In Massillon, Ohio, for Saturday's Nike SPARQ Combine, he proved his worth by posting a top-10 rating of 106.35.

Some big schools have already taken notice, with Arizona, Duke, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin showing interest. Two of them stand out a little more than the rest for the running back/linebacker.

“Ohio State, that’s my school,” Baker said. “It’s my home state, so of course I like Ohio State. I’d like to go there and visit.

“With Michigan, I really like them. At first I didn’t know anything about them because that was the rival for Ohio State. Now, after I’ve looked it up, it’s a pretty good school.”

Baker values the interest of the two so much that they are first on his list when he goes camping this summer.

As for whether or not he wants to play linebacker or running back in college, he’s leaning toward the side that doesn’t carry the ball.

“I like linebacker better,” Baker said. “I like to hit people instead of being hit. I like to deliver the blow and make a statement.”