Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes have done a very good job keeping the state of Ohio's elite high school talent in the state of Ohio to play for the Buckeyes over the last couple of years. They're off to a good start in the 2015 class having already secured a commitment from Canton (OH) McKinley athlete Eric Glover-Williams, who is rated as the state's number three player in the 247Composite rankings.
Ohio State is already in very good position for the state's number two player, Jerome Baker, who hails from Benedictine High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Baker, who had a dominant performance at Ohio State's "Friday Night Lights" camp last summer, could play on either offense or defense at the college level.
The standout athlete has offers from top schools across the country and has been in contact with a lot of the top schools, but he still hears the most from the in-state powerhouse, Ohio State.
"I talk to a lot of schools. Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, and a lot more," he said. "I definitely talk to Ohio State more than any other school though."
Baker's main recruiter at Ohio State is running backs coach Stan Drayton. He already has a very good relationship with Drayton and it's still pretty early in the recruiting process for him.
"I talk to Coach Drayton quite a bit," Baker told Land-Grant Holy Land. "He's a very good coach to talk to. I really enjoy talking to him and have a really close relationship with him. He really wants me to succeed in whatever do and wherever I end up; I just really like talking with him."
He hasn't talked to Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in awhile, but he plans to again soon and also really likes the Buckeye's head man.
"I haven't talked to him recently, but I plan to again really soon," he continued. "He's a really good coach and I'm looking forward to getting to know him."
Also rated as the fourth best athlete in the 2015 recruiting class, Baker could end up on either side of the football if he plays his college ball in Columbus. Right now, the Buckeyes like him on offense, but that could change depending on how much bigger he gets.
"They're recruiting me to be a running back right now because of the season I had," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "They're also looking at me for linebacker depending on how much bigger I get in between now and college, but right now they like me on offense."
Baker was able to make it out to two college football games during the fall. First he was in Champaign to watch Illinois to take on Wisconsin. Next he was in Columbus to watch the Buckeye play the Indiana Hoosiers. Both of the visits went really well.
"(The Illinois visit) was great, they have really good fans. It was really loud and a fun game to be at even though they ended up losing," he continued. "It was still a good experience, though."
While he definitely had a good trip to Illinois, his trip to Columbus back in November to watch the Bucks take on Indiana seemed to go even better.
"It was a great visit. It was really cold and was snowing some, but it was really cool to see most of the crowd hang in there," he said. "The game atmosphere was great and I really enjoyed watching the game."
Despite being busy with all the game preparation, almost every single one of the coaches on Ohio State's staff set aside a little bit of time to chat with the in-state standout prior to the game.
"I got to talk to a bunch of the coaches before the game started and all of those conversations went really well," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "Unfortunately I didn't really go around the campus too much; I was really only there to watch the game."
Of the 15 plus offers he currently holds, there's one team that still stands out above all of the teams who have offered and are showing interest.
"Ohio State is my leader right now," Baker continued. "After that all of the schools are pretty much even."
When asked why the Buckeyes were standing out, Baker said it was mainly because of how he's treated by the OSU coaching staff.
"The coaches are very caring. They care about who I am as an overall person and not just as a football player. They want me to do well at everything," he said. "I've felt really at home with the coaches every time I've taken a visit to Ohio State."
Even though he has the Bucks on the top of his list, we shouldn't expect a commitment any time soon as he wants to wait until the end of the 2015 recruiting cycle to announce his decision.
"I'm probably going to make my decision about a year from now," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "I'll come out with a top ten before my senior season, and will probably take all five of my official visits."
Believe it or not, he didn't grow up rooting on the Scarlet and Gray. His favorite childhood team was the Penn State Nittany Lions, who just hired James Franklin to be their next head coach.
"I think it's a really good hire," he continued. "I haven't really gotten to talk with the new staff yet, but I'm looking forward to getting to know them."
The 6-foot-1-inch, 205 pound athlete doesn't have any visits set in stone right now, but there are a few schools he would like to check out.
"I don't have any visits in mind right now, but there's always a possibility of taking a visit," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "Of the schools I haven't seen, I would like to check out Michigan, Michigan State, and Tennessee."
A year from now, when he sits down to make his decision, there will be three important factors that go into the aforementioned decision.
"Academics, the position I would play at the school, and the relationships I have with the coaches," he said. "Those are the main three things I'm going to look at."
I think the Buckeyes are in a very good position to land Baker and wouldn't be surprised if he ended up announcing for the Bucks before he's currently planning to make an announcement. Check out his highlights below: