July 3, 2013

Film Study: Kendall Baker

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Georgia added its 12th member of the 2014 class on Wednesday with Marist defensive lineman Kendall Baker.

Below, UGASports breaks down Baker's game and how he will fit in once he arrives in Athens.

Where he is great: At 6-foot-6, 297 pounds, Baker has the size you can't teach. He is long limbed and continues to add strength.

Baker also plays with an extremely powerful base. On film, he routinely gets double-teamed without getting moved because he can anchor at the point of attack.

Not only does he anchor against double-teams, but he knows how to make himself small and slip through double teams to penetrate. He will often take on the block, use his hands to get into the body of the offensive linemen, and twist his upper body to split the double team to make a play.

Baker also plays with excellent balance. You rarely see him get knocked off his feet and he has the feet to avoid cut blocks.

Although he is very long and tall, it is clear on film that he works hard to keep his pad level down and do exactly what he is coached to do.

On top of his ability as a player, Baker is also an excellent student with a great deal of character.

Where he is good: Bakers first step isn't elite, but it is a good first step for a prospect with his size. He can penetrate quickly and use his length to eat more space on the inside.

He also uses his hands well. They aren't particularly quick or violent at this stage, but he shoots them well, extends, and sheds the block.

Baker also bends well. When he is in a three-point stance, his heels are on or very close to the ground showing good flex in his ankles. He also doesn't depend on being able to bend at the waste because he can bend at the knees. That is something that will only get better as he gets further removed from the ACL injury he sustained as a sophomore.

Baker also plays with a good motor for a big man. He keeps coming even when he is losing the one-on-one matchup and is often able to use his strength and quickness to shed the block and get back in the play.

Where he needs work: At this point in his career, Baker is carrying some bad weight. It isn't a lot, but he should probably weigh in the 280-pound range right now. Each time we see him, however, he looks better.

Baker also needs to learn to rely on his feet more. At our Rivals Camp Series stop in Atlanta, he showed that he has good lateral quickness and quick feet, but he tends to just anchor at the point of attack rather than using his feet to help him get off blocks.

While he is strong already, Baker needs to continue to work on his upper body strength. This will allow him to be more effective on the interior of the defensive line.

Overall: Baker is a huge piece for Georgia for a number of reasons. He has an excellent frame that will allow him to play on the offensive or defensive line at the next level. He has the athleticism and work ethic to star on either side of the ball. That type of versatility gives the Bulldogs a prospect in this class that can essentially play a "swing" type of role once he gets to Athens. He will likely start off on defense, but there is little doubt that he has the talent to play either side of the ball and do so well. He is also the type of player that will do what his coaches ask of him so it is almost like UGA is filling two needs with one player. No matter what position he plays, Baker is big, talented, and the kind of kid you want in your locker room and that is never a bad thing.

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