Cleveland Benedictine two-way athlete Jerome Baker is one of the top 2015 prospects in the Midwest,…
CoachSpeak: Jerome Baker
Cleveland Benedictine four-star junior Jerome Baker is one of the top 2015 prospects in Ohio, and the tailback/linebacker has impressed on both sides of the football. Baker, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, holds eleven offers to date, and although he declined to name a favorite, he recently stated Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are schools of interest at this time. Benedictine head coach Joe Schaefer is in his first year as head coach, and as a former all-state performer at Benedictine, he can appreciate Baker's talents. "Jerome has gotten a lot of attention and of course a lot of college offers at an early stage, but he never lets that stuff affect how hard he works at getting better," Schaefer stated. "At first, I would say he had the "wide-eyed" look on his face for a few days after the first few offers, but he got right back on track in a short while. He knows what got him to this point." "First and foremost, he's a great kid," he added. "He's a great teammate and a very positive kid to be around, which I love as a coach. His family upbringing keeps him grounded, and that's a big part of his success. He gets it in the classroom and he gets it on the football field." As a player, Baker is one of the more talented junior prospects in Ohio, and Schaefer appreciates his versatility on the field. "Jerome plays both sides of the football for us, and he's just as good at tailback as he is at linebacker," Schaefer admitted. "Defensively, he is spectacular, because he's so fast and so physical, which is what the college coaches love about him." "As a tailback, he has the same attributes, the power and speed combination that all coaches want in a runner," he continued. "I'm just guessing, but he could end up a 230-pound player at the next level, but still keep his speed. We don't throw it to him much but he can also catch the football well and it comes easy to him." "As a college player, it's not my place to say where these schools should play him," Schaefer concluded. "It all comes down to preference and where you need him to play. He truly does not play one side of the ball better at this point, so it's impossible for me to guess where he should be at the college level. Whoever lands him is getting one heck of a football player, I will say that." In addition to Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, Baker also holds offers from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State and Louisville.
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