Bellevue High School safety Budda Baker, the Associated Press’s state player of the year in Washington, has spurned the University of Washington in favor of rival Oregon. He announced a verbal commitment on his Twitter account Friday. UW and UCLA were said to be the other finalists.
I AM OFFICIALLY COMMITTED TO… pic.twitter.com/JYReedT483
— budda baker (@buddabaker32) December 20, 2013
Baker, 5-foot-8 and 177 pounds, was ranked the No. 4 safety nationally, according to Scout.com. He was also a running back and kick returner, and has said he wants to play offense in college. His former teammate at Bellevue, Myles Jack, was a big hit at UCLA playing both sides of the ball.
“When he touches the ball, he’s got a chance to do amazing things with it,” Scout.com recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman told the Seattle Times. “It doesn’t matter if it’s returning kicks, punts, catching the ball out of the backfield, taking a handoff, intercepting a ball, he’s so electric.”
Baker, who helped lead the Wolverines to their sixth consecutive 3A state championship, was considered among the top prospects in the state, one eagerly sought by former Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, now at USC. His successor, Chris Petersen, has been on the job for two weeks.