Cal Football

Bear Insider Video: Baker Helps Lead Kennedy Catholic to Win on Big Stage

September 7, 2019
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On a national stage in the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field in Seattle on national TV on ESPNU, Kennedy Catholic wide receiver Justin Baker wasted no time in showing the nation his talent, taking the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown to open the game in their exciting 32-27 win over Bethel (Spanaway, WA) Friday night.

On the return, the Cal commit shot through a trio of would-be tacklers to the sideline, leaving the helpless Bethel kicker as the last barrier between him and paydirt, as he sprinted past for the big touchdown return.

“Our kickoff return team did a great job,” said Baker. “I just ran straight. There was a huge hole for me and I just cut up and it was a touchdown.”

The game was back-and-forth, with both teams trading leads but Baker’s 4th quarter touchdown reception was the clincher for the Lancers, as Kennedy QB Sam Huard placed a perfect 30-yard pass in the corner of the end zone that Baker laid out for in his game-winning catch.

What was going through the 3 star athlete’s head as he laid out for the ball in the end zone?

“Nothing,” said Baker, with a smile. “Nothing was going through my head. That was just a snag. Just look at the ball. In my head, just track, catch and snatch it. That’s what I say to myself before every play. I was just running. You see it, keep your eyes on the ball and everything else works out. Maybe I can get on (ESPN’s) Top 10 with that. It was fun.

“It was a great throw. We knew what we wanted to do on the play. I was just, ‘Give me a fade. I got you bro, let’s go. Just throw.’”

Baker’s still a relative rookie to the wide receiver position, having played running back until recently but the speedy 5-10/175 athlete has made the transition to receiver while still learning the in’s and out’s of the position.

The Bears’ most recent commit, Baker and his 2020 class are looking forward to making an impact at the next level.

“I’m super-excited,” said Baker. “It looks like they need a little help on offense so that’s why I’m excited. I know I can give them a little help on offense, hopefully when I get there. The defense is playing great.

“I’m in a group chat (with Cal commits) and we all talk every day. We can’t wait to get there, start training and start working with each other and what a big opportunity it is to go to a school there is.”

Cal linebacker coach and assistant defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon, who’s recruiting territory includes Washington, was on the sidelines for the Lancer’s big win.

“He told me he was going to come so it was really cool that he came,” said Baker.

The Bears secured Baker’s commitment over Oregon State, Nebraska, Colorado, Boise State and a host of other programs last month.

 
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