BY SPNW Staff 07:24PM 02/04/2014

Bellevue HS star Baker says he will be a Husky

A little more than six hours before college football’s National Signing Day, Huskies coach Chris Petersen unofficially secured the No. 1 recruit in the state of Washington.

Budda Baker, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound defensive back from Bellevue High School, appeared on King5 TV Tuesday night and announced his commitment to UW. Ranked four out of five stars by most recruiting services, and the No. 5 safety in the country by, Baker said staying close to family was a major reason he chose the Huskies.

As with many prospects deciding where to attend college, Baker’s final choice wasn’t without twists: He verbally committed to the University of Oregon in December, then opened his recruitment in January. He took a pair of visits — one to Montlake, one to UCLA — before deciding. According to his profile, he held offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, USC, Texas A&M, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Notre Dame, among others.

At Bellevue, Baker starred at running back, safety and kick returner, helping lead coach Butch Goncharoff’s Wolverines to four consecutive 3A state championships. As a senior, Baker was named the state’s player of the year by the Associated Press, News Tribune and Seattle Times. It’s widely believed that Baker will line up on defense.

Oregon’s coaching staff wanted him to play offense. In late January, Baker disclosed in an interview with Josh Liebeskind of the Times that he wanted to play defense. The disagreement likely factored into his decision to spurn the Ducks.

According to, Baker is the 21st known verbal commitment to Petersen’s first Huskies’ recruiting class.


  • jafabian

    He got a bit of a late start but it’s sure looking like Chris Petersen and his staff are getting some blue choppers. The team is really shaping up. Spring practice should be fun to watch.

  • RadioGuy

    I’d certainly call this a coup for Chris Petersen.. Spiriting a 5-star recruit away from Uncle Phool and the NCAA team he owns? Gotta love that. Budda should wear Adidas the first time he plays in Eugene.

    • jafabian

      I’m wating to see what happens with Coach Pete and Sark go after the same player.

      • RadioGuy

        As long as Oregon doesn’t end up with them, I’m okay. Good Lord, am I actually (sort of) rooting for USC? What has HAPPENED to my SOUL???