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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
ESPN 300 ATH Baker signs with Clemson

By Bob Przybylo

ESPN 300 athlete Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) ended months of speculation by signing with Clemson on Wednesday morning.

Baker was eyeing the Tigers the whole time he was a Florida State commit. Following his decommitment from the Seminoles, it became a two-team race with OU and Clemson.

In the end, Clemson coaches Dabo Swinney and Brent Venables sealed the deal with multiple in-home visits in January to land Baker.

Baker is 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds and ranked No. 197 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 19 athlete.

What is the impact of Baker’s decision?

Instant Analysis

What it means for Clemson: There was no question about how good the Tigers’ defensive class was going to be, but it only got better with the addition of Baker. He is Clemson’s fifth ESPN 300 recruit on the defensive side of the ball.

What it means for OU: Another case of being so close but so far for the Sooners regarding top defensive back targets. The Sooners had a pretty good idea, though, and were able to land another cornerback in the last week realizing Baker was out.

Turning point: The decommitment from Florida State practically gave Baker to Clemson on a silver platter. OU made a big run late, but the Tigers had been recruiting Baker nonstop since the spring, and Baker never gave Clemson fans a reason to worry.

Surprise (scale of 1-5): 1. It was billed as OU and Clemson, but there was enough evidence to support it was the Tigers the entire way. It was the Clemson coaches that made the more impactful in-home visits because they knew all they had to do was make Baker sure he wanted to be a Tiger.

Immediate impact (scale of 1-5): 4. It will be tough to keep Baker off the field. He’s a legitimate athlete who can make plays at either cornerback or wide receiver. He has been told he is a cornerback for Clemson. But you know the Clemson coaches will adapt if needed, and he'll be used anywhere he can make a difference.