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Bellevue's Baker Baker picks Washington Huskies | Prep football news
Bellevue senior Budda Baker, the top football prospect in the state in the Class of 2014 and a standout in all three phases of the game for the six-time 3A defending state champs, made his collegiate announcement on a KING 5 news broadcast Tuesday evening, choosing the University of Washington.
Baker, the AP All-Classification and 3A state player of the year as a senior, told Chris Eagan and a live television audience he would be a Husky, after previously announcing and then retracting a pledge to the University of Oregon on his Twitter account.
"I want to thank God for the opportunities," he said, before unzipping a jacket to reveal a Washington logo beneath and pulling a UW hat from under a table. "I'll be going to the University of Washington."
Remaining in close proximity to family members, including an ailing mother and infant nephew, were a key factor, according to Baker.
"I'm just a big family person, family comes first," he said. "They will be able to come see it me play; it is a true blessing."
The intense and often invasive recruiting process was especially trying for Baker, a reserved individual by most accounts and not one to seek the limelight. He credited Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff and also said new Huskies' coach Chris Petersen seemed to embody many of the same traits he loved in his prep leader.
"He's a great guy," he said of Petersen. "He reminds me of coach Butch."
The all-everything Baker was a nightmare for area coaches during his three years as a full-time varsity player, carving up defenses out of the backfield, catching passes as a wideout, intercepting (and often returning) opposing quarterbacks as a safety and making explosive plays in the return game.
Also a multiple-time state champion in track and field, Baker leaves Bellevue as one of its most decorated and heralded athletes, also earning a U.S. Army All-American Bowl spot this year.
The senior made the commitment official Wednesday morning in a ceremony at Bellevue, signing the officially binding National Letter of Intent.