Florida DB Adrian Baker Gets WVU Offer - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Florida DB Adrian Baker Gets WVU Offer


The offers continue to pile up for a Florida defensive back who has been on West Virginia's radar for months now.

On Thursday, assistant coach Robert Gillespie and the Mountaineers threw their name in the ring as contenders for the services of Adrian Baker, a rising senior at Chaminade Madonna.

Baker has been in close contact with both Gillespie, who leads his recruiting, and cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts as he looks to the future and attempts to compare the various programs that have offered.

"We talk once a week for like a month and a half now and we've been trying to form a bond, a relationship," Baker says of Gillespie. "Since he's from Florida I feel like he can relate to me and the stuff I may be going through, but at the end of the day it's all about forming a relationship with a coach at a great program that I'm interested in."

There are a number of schools that fit that bill right now. With seven offers that include Boston College, Florida State and Louisville, the 6-foot-1, 163-pound corner is finding that he is becoming a bit of a hot commodity as he closes out his junior year.

Each coach he speaks with is doing his best to form that same sort of bond so that Baker feels most comfortable at that particular university, but there are other factors that go into the decision process.

"I know that they love speed," Baker says of WVU. "They have a lot of Florida guys with Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Ivan McCartney and they actually just got a safety from near where I live in Hallandale, Sean Walters, so I know they like the Florida guys."

Living in the same area as Walters, Baker is familiar with his game, but says he doesn't know the Mountaineer freshman personally. Still, he has knowledge of West Virginia from having seen the team perform on television and around the corner in Miami earlier this year.

"They've been really competitive, they just beat Clemson in the Orange Bowl, so they're just going to rise and I've got to say that the program is heading in the right direction," he says. "I want to see how they use their defensive backs and how they'd develop me into a better player and a better person on and off the field."

Baker recognizes that his decision must factor in more than just the Xs and Os of a football team as he will be planning out the next four years of his life, not just his play on the field. When he begins taking visits, he will have plenty on his mind to weigh his decision.

"First of all, the education. Student comes before athlete because the education comes first," Baker says. "Then I look at the coaching staff because they're going to be the ones helping me become a better defensive back and a complete corner."

The Mountaineers are hopeful that after seeing their new defensive scheme in action this fall, Baker will feel that he has the best opportunity to become a complete corner in their secondary.

But he intends to start taking a closer look at each program before the teams hit the field for the regular season.

"I'll start narrowing it down in the summer after I've taken a few unofficials to get a feel for the coaches and see some practices in workouts," he says. "I plan to have my top five for my officials during the summer after I've talked to my grandmother about the different schools and the programs."

In the meantime, Baker is working to prepare himself for a senior season in which he hopes his team can build on a 9-2 finish and make a deeper run in the playoffs. He has been working out to improve on his strength while also competing with the track team for his speed.

Last summer, he was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.44 seconds and he will have another opportunity at an upcoming combine workout to see how much his work with the track team has paid off.

Each week, he is doing one-on-one work with receivers on his team to keep up his skills as a defensive back.

So far, the work is paying off and the offers continue to build.

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