Ryan Baker Didn’t Live Up to the Hype?

Remember Ryan Baker from a few years back?  Baker committed to Notre Dame in late January of 2004 and then decommitted only to wait a month and a half after signing day deciding on attending Purdue.  He was considered one of the best recruits in Tyrone Willingham’s last full recruiting class – one of the worst in recent Notre Dame history.  Here’s what ESPN had to say about his selection.

“After months of deliberation, Super Prospect defensive lineman Ryan Baker of Indianapolis-Bishop Chatard, Ind., has signed with the Purdue Boilermakers over Notre Dame.

Baker made a commitment to the Irish in late January, but had second thoughts and didn’t sign with the school. Considered the top player in Indiana, he played on four state championship teams during his career at Chatard — three in football and one in basketball. Among many other offers were Michigan, Oklahoma, Boston College, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Stanford. “

Anyway…. apparently Baker hasn’t lived up to the hype.  Oh, that’s not my opinion.  It’s Joe Tiller’s.  His head coach at Purdue for the last 5 years.  Here’s what Tiller said about Baker at his Tuesday press conference.

Q. This is Notre Dame week. Could you take us back to the recruitment of Ryan Baker, your thoughts of his indecision. A lot of recruits have gone through that. Sometimes they might be playing games or whatever. Was your thinking with Ryan that he was just a young man who was legitimately torn trying to make a tough decision?
COACH TILLER: I can’t go through that. We don’t have enough time.

Q. I don’t mean step by step.
COACH TILLER: You may have asked too many questions with that one today. I don’t know. Obviously he waited till after the signing date. There was a lot of cloak and dagger, et cetera. Bake’s been a really good guy for our program. He, quite frankly, hasn’t been the player that maybe the recruiting hype would have suggested he should be. But he’s stayed the course. He’s playing his best football right now. But he’s always been good for our football program, always from day one.

I realize that Tiller is in his last year and all, but did he really have to call out Baker like that?

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