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- About his excitement level working with LSU's LBs:

"I'm really excited, ya know, I've had one opportunity so far to see them move around. It's an... opportunity to work with a bunch of talent...a lot of youth, a lot of young players...and sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad, but one thing I like about young players is they haven't had a lot of time to create bad habits. Kinda like dealing with a fresh pound of Play'doh a little bit."

-About his recruiting pedigree, 247's Shea Dixon says "Coach O called you an outstanding recruiter..."

"When you walk around with this logo on your shirt, it just means more. Walking into any high school in Louisiana or a place full of talent like Houston, kids perk up when you walk in."

-About Louisiana kids:

"We love coaching kids from Louisiana...there's an inherent toughness about 'em, they like to work. I always say "you can't ask em to do enough"....those guys are blue collar and have a business-like approach to this game, they're fun to coach."

-Brody Miller asks: What do you look for in your type of linebacker?

"It's really evolved...ya know, first thing I wanna look for is toughness...are they tough. You want them to have good length and speed. You want them to be able to play in space, the ability to make open field tackles...and then high character guys. I really believe if a guy is willing to come in and work and take care of his business, he's going to be a really great player for you one day."

-His defensive vision for LSU:

"I talked to Daronte right when I accepted the job. I'm here to be a sounding board for him. I'm not here to be the defensive coordinator, and I wanted him to know that. He did some research on me and felt comfortable with me, but I tell ya, the last couple days spending time with that guy, I think he's really...I think we're gonna gel really well together. We went out to lunch and kinda just got to know each other. And I think our personalities really gel well together. I just told him, "I'm here to help." If I do make a suggestion, it's out of a good place. Daronte's a low ego / high output guy, much like myself, so I don't think it'll be an issue.

I'm fired up to work for him. He's really sharp, knows his stuff and like I said, just fun to be around."

-On his wife's Louisiana ties & making the move:

"This is the only job I would've left Miami for....the ability for my wife to be so close to home. We've got 3 kids, 6, 3 and 1, so...bless her heart, she's the real MVP, I don't know how she does it. But for her to be close to home, most of her best friends live between here and Mandeville, Lafayette, I have a lot of family in Covington, Madisonville, Mandeville, so it's been a dream come true to be able to come home and have the support that we have. When I told her she was crying tears of be able to see that...the old saying of 'happy wife, happy life' know, we were fired up to be here."

-Talking to his new LBs:

"I already sat down with...or I mean called & had conversations with all the linebackers and told them 'I'm going to make 'em a better player, but I'm also gonna make 'em a better person. And that just comes from spending time together, having 'em over to the house, being around me and my family, seeing how I interact with my wife & kids, & hopefully I can portray a father figure mentality to some of these guys."

-WAFB's Jacques Doucet to Baker concerning his fighting spirit, toughness as a young player & how that's shaped his coaching style:

"I think I've always had a passion for the game and probably had a chip on my shoulder just being undersized and doubted my entire career."


by Lonn Phillips Sullivan


Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC


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