SAN FRANCISCO — Texas A&M and LSU have both offered Alabama commit Elliot Baker, the nation’s No. 1 junior college offensive lineman, in the past week. He’s appreciative of the opportunity to play for those schools, but it won’t be happening.
Baker committed to Alabama in June and hasn’t looked back on that decision once. He said he won’t be changing his mind.
“I’m not saying I’m not interested in these other schools (that have recently offered), but I don’t pay attention to any other programs other than Alabama, to be honest with you,” Baker told SEC Country.
That’s evident of the recruiting mail that sits inside City College of San Francisco’s football offices. Weeks-old letters from programs such as Southern California and BYU remain unopened.
“I don’t talk to any other coaches besides Alabama coaches,” Baker said.
The 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle bought into the Alabama program immediately when he visited for the team’s camp this summer. Going into the camp, committing wasn’t on his mind, but before he left Tuscaloosa, he was a part of the Crimson Tide’s Class of 2017.
There’s a funny story behind that.
Before sitting down with Nick Saban 1-on-1, which Alabama’s main recruiting targets always do, Baker and his mentor/offensive line coach at City College, Eduardo Nuno, had a game plan of what the recruit should say.
Nuno told Baker not to rush into a commitment and to tell Saban he wanted to keep his options open because he was going to visit Auburn later that week. Nuno and Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand are good friends, and Nuno was going to stay at his house.
Baker agreed with Nuno. He wouldn’t commit during the meeting with Saban because there were more visits to be had.
However, he didn’t stick to the plan. The Auburn trip he was supposed to take never happened because Baker committed to Alabama and canceled every other recruiting trip after that.
“I could feel him almost levitating next to me when he talked to Saban,” Nuno said. “You could just see him get so fired up. He kept on saying, ‘I’m ready, coach! I’m ready!”‘
Baker said it wasn’t necessarily the meeting with Saban that made him commit, it was a compilation of his time with the players, coaches and other recruits on campus at the time.
“When I sat down with Saban, he just laid out the specific process of how they develop you as a player on and off the field,” Baker said. “Seeing all of the national championship rings and SEC rings was the icing on the cake, too.”
When asked if he was going to explore other schools and take visits elsewhere, Baker laughed and gave a one-word answer that Alabama fans will like.
“No,” Baker said.
The nation’s No. 2 overall junior college prospect has three years to play two seasons and will enroll at Alabama this January.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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