Standout Cleveland Benedictine linebacker Jerome Baker made things official this morning, and signed his letter of intent with Ohio State during a ceremony held at his school.
A former University of Florida verbal commit, Baker flipped to Ohio State in October and never looked back. One of the top overall athletes in the country, his commitment was key in Urban Meyer's pursuit of closing the recruiting gate around the state of Ohio during the 2015 recruiting cycle.
Playing all over the field as a senior, Baker, alongside class of 2016 wide receiver and current OSU target Justin Layne, led a very strong Benedictine squad to a Division IV state championship title. During his final year with the Bengals, Jerome missed three games due to a high ankle sprain, but still accounted for 102 total tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Our Christopher Jason had the following to say on the soon-to-be Buckeye outside linebacker:
"Jerome Baker has the size (6'2, 210 pounds) and athleticism (4.50 40-yard dash) to play outside linebacker at Ohio State. As a high school running back, he shows good explosion and loves physicality, initiating contact rather than taking it. He has a solid frame, but needs to gain muscle mass in order to be a candidate to play early. With his elite athleticism, I see him as a prototypical nickel linebacker in Columbus, one who excels in pass coverage as well as being implemented on blitz packages.
Baker's football instincts standout as he reads his keys very well to make plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. He also does a good job at dropping back in coverage and reading the quarterback's front shoulder to make plays in the passing game. He is a solid tackler and is very rangy, making plays from sideline-to-sideline. He wraps up the ball carrier and drives his legs, limiting broken tackles.
I see Baker making an early impact on special teams with his speed and tenacity. He also has a chance to play early on defense if he shows improvement in the weight room by adding more mass."
See what Baker will add to the Buckeyes roster with these highlights brought to you by the team at Hudl: