While the Oregon Ducks took a step back on the field in 2013, failing to reclaim the Pac-12 title and missing out on the BCS for the first time since 2008, the Ducks have not slowed down on the recruiting trail. Mark Helfrich knows that the lifeblood to the fast-paced, high flying Oregon attack is to restock with talent each year in recruiting. The 2014 Oregon recruiting class was shaping up to be a good one already and it just got better with the commitment of Bishard “Budda” Baker to the Ducks.
Baker is a four-star safety recruit out of Bellevue, Washington, and it widely considered the top prospect in the Pacific Northwest this season. He has been a hard lean to Oregon for some time now but had talked about letting the recruitment process play all the way out. That included trips scheduled to visit the USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, and Washington Huskies in January. Those trips will be cancelled, however, as Baker announced on Twitter that he was all-in with Oregon and just needed to wait until he felt 100 percent about the decision.
For Oregon, it’s a huge win for their recruiting class. Baker has been recruited as a safety but has the athleticism to possibly make the switch to offense at the next level. The Ducks have discussed the possibility with Baker throughout his recruitment, though it’s unclear which side of the ball he will play next fall. What is clear is that Baker has the skillset and athleticism to make an impact right away as a freshman and will have ample opportunity in Eugene to make his mark as Oregon has never shied away from getting young talent onto the field.
While it wasn’t the kind of season the Ducks were hoping for in 2013, Helfrich and company are continuing the process of building a consistent winner in Eugene on the recruiting trail. With Baker solidly committed to Oregon for 2014, will the incoming freshman become an instant star next fall?