University of Florida

Florida Gators lose top LB prospect Jerome Baker to Ohio State

Four-star linebacker Jerome Baker has switched his commitment from UF to Ohio State.
Four-star linebacker Jerome Baker has switched his commitment from UF to Ohio State. CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

As the Florida Gators struggle on the field, their recruiting is suffering as well.

Four-star linebacker Jerome Baker has flipped his verbal pledge from UF to Ohio State.

The Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine linebacker, a Rivals100 prospect, was the Gators’ highest-rated commit.

Baker announced his change of heart on Twitter, tweeting, “I am officially flipping my commitment from Florida to THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.”

In a follow up tweet, he wrote, “I want to thank the University of Florida for a great opportunity and all of the #GatorNation. Wish Florida the best moving forward.”

With the latest decommitment, the Gators rank No. 60 in Rivals’ team rankings. Still, coach Will Muschamp said his time on the recruiting trail during the bye week went well.

“It was good. It’s still the University of Florida,” he said. “It’s a great education. We’re moving in the recruiting trail very well and Signing Day is in February.”


In a vague statement released Monday, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley never mentioned Muschamp by name.

Still, UF’s embattled head coach “appreciated” Foley’s public support of the football program.

Foley, in an effort to calm a furious fan base, said, “At the beginning of the season, we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out. We will continue to do so. Our sole focus right now is supporting our coaching staff and players at they prepare for Georgia.”

The Gators are 3-10 in their past 13 games, but Muschamp defended his program, lauding the team’s off-the-field success and increased GPA.

“I think Jeremy sees a lot of the things that are going on in our program. Certainly a huge part of that is winning games, and that’s not what we’ve done,” he said. “But academically, socially, all the things we’ve done within our program changing the culture have been outstanding.”

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