March 23, 2013

Baker left impressed

Marist defensive lineman Kendall Baker was offered by Georgia last month, and a few weeks later, he decided to make the trip to Athens to check out the Bulldogs for spring practice.

Rain and lightning in the Athens area forced the Georgia staff to cancel the first scrimmage of the spring, but that didn't stop Baker from spending most of the day in the Classic City.

"It was nice," Baker said of his visit to UGA on Saturday. "We didn't get to see the team practice today because it got rained out, but that's all right because we got a lot more one-on-one time with some of the coaches. I talked a lot with Coach (Mark) Richt and I talked a lot with Coach (Chris) Wilson a lot today. I learned a lot of great things about Georgia."

Richt and Wilson had similar messages for the Rivals250 prospect, and both centered on how much the Georgia staff wants him in Athens.

"Coach Richt was telling me that they really want me in their program" he said. "He was talking with my mom and spending time with her. We had a little talk and he told me how he wanted me up there at Georgia and wanted me to come up there and do some good things for them. He was telling me that he wanted me to stay in state and how it would benefit me in the future by being close to my family. Coach Wilson was telling me the same things and telling me they want me there on the defensive. He said they are looking to take things to the next level and let me know who they want to bring in and who is leaving. He told me he wants me to be one of the guys they bring in."

Baker told UGASports last month that the he had no leaders and that he was wide open in regards to the recruiting process.

After his time at UGA on Saturday, that has changed.

"Georgia is, right now, on top for me," Baker said. "I believe that is probably going to stay that way, but I don't really know yet. I just want to take things slow before I do anything with committing. I want to fall all the way in love with the school before I commit and today was a big step for Georgia."

The four-star prospect has taken visits thus far to Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Vanderbilt.

Baker sees all of those schools as strong competition to the Bulldogs for that top spot, and admits that other teams could emerge down the road.

"There are a lot of schools competing with Georgia for me," Baker said when asked what other schools were strongly in the mix for his services. "Places like Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Vandy, Georgia Tech, and when I start visiting other places other schools might start to pop up. Those are just the places I have visited so far and I like them all."

Visits will play a key role in the Marist standout's decision going forward, and he plans to see as many programs as possible in the coming months.

"I'll probably be going back to Georgia for their G-Day scrimmage," he said. "I'm definitely going to get to Clemson. I keep saying that, but I am going to get up there soon. I'm most likely going to go to Georgia Tech soon to see their spring practice. I might go down to Florida State again. I have to talk to my parents about that, but I'm going to get some more visits in."

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