Cleveland LB flips to Ohio State from Florida

BY Marcus Hartman • October 21, 2014

Urban Meyer has scored another win -- at the expense of the guy who replaced him at Florida.

Jerome Baker, a four-star linebacker recruit from Cleveland Benedictine High, announced via Twitter his decision to rescind a verbal commitment to Florida and pledge to be an Ohio State Buckeye instead.

Baker, who is rated the No. 2 player in Ohio and No. 97 nationally in 2015 according to Scout.com, committed to Florida in July, but Ohio State continued recruiting him and he visited Columbus on Sept. 27 when the Buckeyes played host to Cincinnati.

Baker is the second northeast Ohio prospect to flip to Ohio State from an SEC school this month, following Lakewood St. Edward wide receiver Alex Stump, who originally committed to Kentucky. A four-star prospect, Stump made his move Oct. 12.

With those two in the fold, Ohio State's 2015 class sits at 18 members, including eight from Ohio. Seven of the Ohioans have committed since June, at which point some began to wonder if Meyer would end up with a historically small number of in-state recruits.

Then-head coach John Cooper signed eight Ohioans in both 1991 and '93, while the fewest Ohio natives in any of Jim Tressel's 11 Ohio State recruiting classes from 2001-11 was nine (2008).

Meanwhile, Baker's decision was another bit of bad news for Meyer's successor at Florida, Will Muschamp. Following a 4-8 season last year, chants of "Fire Muschamp" were audible in Gainesville last Saturday as the Gators lost to Missouri 42-13 to fall to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC.

Follow on Twitter @marcushartman


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