Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker is just days away from making his college decision, and recruiting experts across the On3 network have weighed in on where they expect the elite pass protector to go.
Multiple recruiting insiders spoke with Josh Newberg on On3’s The Inside Scoop about where the school they cover stands in the recruitment of Baker.
Where each school stands in Baker’s recruitment
Nebraska insider Sean Callahan: “Well Brandon Baker visited Nebraska three times — March, April and then his official visit here in September. His family came with him on three trips, so clearly there is something that they liked about this enough to want to come back here right before the decision. In recruiting, it is always good to have the final word. Nebraska had the final word. If they were able to pull this off, I think this official visit weekend would be a big reason why.”
Oregon insider Justin Hopkins: “I think for Oregon, they have the longest-standing relationship with Brandon Baker. He was one of the first guys that Dan Lanning prioritized when he got the job at Oregon, putting a heavy emphasis on recruiting Baker because of the family ties to Oregon and his older brother being a former Duck. You’ve got to think that weighs heavily with his decision, I know that Baker has always, always had a soft spot for the Ducks.”
Ohio State insider Matt Parker: “Making the case for Ohio State to land five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker — it all starts with relationships for Ohio State. Brandon Baker and offensive line coach Justin Frye have one of the best, if not the best relationship in his recruitment according to some of the sources that I talked to. Not only is it his relationship with Justin Frye, but extends to head coach Ryan Day, offensive coordinator Brian Hartline and even running backs coach Tony Alford.”
Texas insider Gerry Hamilton: “Brandon Baker to the Longhorns makes sense because Christian Jones, the starting right tackle, graduates for the Longhorns. Steve Sarkisian has years and years of connections at Mater Dei High, including his son Brady Sarkisian playing at Mater Dei last year — (now) a freshman linebacker for Texas. There’s Kyle Flood’s resume development on the offensive line, and then there’s also the fact that the Bakers on the mom’s side are related to the Akanas, freshman linebacker at Texas (Tausili) as well as a sister who plays volleyball for the national champions (Keonilei) in the Akana family. There’s a lot of signs that point toward the Longhorns for Brandon Baker heading into his decision.”
Baker told On3’s Chad Simmons that he is “still trying to figure out” where he will be committing on Sunday, but experts are confident in the position of one school in particular.
Callahan — Texas: “Well you know if Nebraska’s program was further long down the line with Matt Rhule, I think they have a pretty good chance to get Brandon Baker. But with that said, I think right now Texas just seems like where it’s all heading right now. A lot of positive vibes have come out of Austin for him. My prediction right now probably is that he ends up at Texas.”
Hopkins — Texas: “I predict Texas will land Baker when he makes his commitment. The reason being, I think the Longhorns have shown him the most love in the last few weeks, last month or two, and have made him a top priority to join their 2024 recruiting class.”
Parker — Texas: “My prediction — and Buckeyes fans won’t like this one — my prediction is Texas. You just follow and read the tea leaves that have been in this recruitment the last four to five months, and there’s something in Austin that keeps pulling Brandon Baker back.”
Hamilton — Texas: “My prediction for five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker out of Mater Dei is the Texas Longhorns. I think there’s an opportunity to come in and compete right away at the right tackle spot. I think Kyle Flood’s resume of development is going to put Texas over the top in this recruitment.”