September 24, 2021

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New LSU assistant mentor Blake Baker talks linebackers, recruiting, relatives in Q&A | LSU

8 min read

Blake Baker was formally introduced as LSU’s new defensive line coach on Tuesday, just under a week due to the fact the 38-calendar year-previous assistant agreed to a two-calendar year offer that pays him $500,000 in his initial time, $550,000 in his 2nd.

Baker came to LSU following two seasons as Miami’s defensive coordinator, a tenure that saw a successful 2019 device regress in the course of the 2020 period. Baker stated he “totally” could have stayed on as Miami’s coordinator, including that LSU was the “only career I would’ve remaining Miami for.”

His wife, Roslyn, is a former All-SEC soccer player at LSU, and they both equally have household through the state. Baker, a Texas indigenous, was a linebacker at Tulane from 2000 to 2004 and was Louisiana Tech’s defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2018.

Baker mentioned “I’m not listed here” at LSU “to be the defensive coordinator,” and he’s achieved with new LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones and explained to him he’s organized “to be a sounding board for him.”

The transcript of Baker’s whole job interview is down below (queries are in bold and italicized):

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“I just want to thank all people for obtaining me nowadays. Naturally have to thank the administration below and Mentor O and everyone that played a crucial job in having me here to Baton Rouge. Could not be additional enthusiastic to be in this article. Fired up to be sitting below in this chair in entrance of you men these days. All set and willing to response any thoughts you could have.”

The linebacker place at LSU this past year has underachieved. When you seem at what you have got strolling into this work, how excited are you to work with some of individuals men and have them arrive at their probable?

“I’m definitely psyched. I experienced one particular chance so far to form of just see them shift all over. I think there is actually the possibility to get the job done with a bunch of talent, a great deal of youth. In some cases which is very good. In some cases which is poor. The just one issue I like about youthful players is a ton of them haven’t made a large amount of undesirable habits. Form of like dealing with a new pound of Enjoy-Doh a small little bit. So I’m thrilled to get the possibility. Currently will be the first time we all get to be hands on and function on the grass with them.”

How enthusiastic are you to place on an LSU polo and recruit Louisiana, Texas and the Houston space?

“I’m seriously excited about it. Definitely having this brand and shirt, it just usually means much more. So when you stroll into a college, specifically in the point out of Louisiana and a metropolis like Houston with so much expertise, youngsters will perk up when you stroll via the door. Hopefully, it is a good deal easier than it was becoming countless numbers of miles away or even at a lesser university. So I’m enthusiastic about the option. I absolutely love coaching youngsters from Louisiana. They just have an inherent toughness about ‘em. You know? They like to get the job done. You just can’t request them to do it adequate. People guys, they are blue-collar and they have a company-like method to this video game, so they are pleasurable to coach.”

What do you glance for precisely with linebackers you want?

“That’s a fantastic query. I consider it’s actually evolved. The very first thing I normally want to appear for is toughness. Are they tough? You want ‘em to have superior duration, superior velocity. They have to be equipped to perform in house, the skill to make open-industry tackles. Then, high-character men. I definitely feel that if a dude is ready to occur in and get the job done and take treatment of his business, he’s heading to be a seriously excellent participant just one working day.”

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Ed Orgeron talked about how you can help Daronte Jones assist this protection. What is your prepare with him and what do you see this vision of LSU football transferring ahead?

“I talked to Daronte correct when I approved the task, and I’m listed here to be a sounding board for him. I’m not in this article to be the defensive coordinator. I wished him to know that up front. I guess he experienced done a very little research on me and felt relaxed with me as well. I’ll inform you, the previous pair of days paying out time with that guy—I think we’re likely to gel seriously nicely alongside one another. We’ve been out to lunch and form of just obtained to know just about every other. I think our personalities genuinely gel properly collectively. I advised him: I’m right here to enable. I know the professional game’s probably a very little distinct from the college or university activity. If I do make a recommendation, it is out of a superior location. We’re all striving to acquire games in this article. He’s a reduced-moi, substantial-output guy—much like myself. I never feel it’ll be an problem. I’m fired up to do the job for a truly, truly sharp (mentor who) is aware of his things and, like I reported, (is) just entertaining to be close to.”

Most of the time you go it’s a real changeover. But with your spouse remaining from Mandeville (Roslyn, a previous All-SEC soccer participant at LSU), I imagine this was not a difficult sell for the household.

“I’ll be sincere with you: I was not seeking to depart Miami. And this is probably—well it is—the only occupation I would’ve still left Miami for. The ability for my spouse to be so close to home—we’ve obtained three children: (age) 6, 3 and 1. So, bless her heart. She’s the real MVP. I do not know how she does it. Remaining capable to be shut to residence. A large amount of her finest close friends nonetheless stay amongst right here, Mandeville and Lafayette. I have a lot of relatives in Covington, Madisonville, Mandeville. So it’s a desire arrive real to be in a position to arrive residence and have the help that we have. When I told her, she was crying tears of joy to be ready to do that. And the aged indicating: joyful spouse, pleased lifetime. We’re fired up to be in this article.”

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Ed Orgeron noted your skill to link with gamers. How do you tactic building relationships with these men?

“See, this is what you have to do to start with and foremost: With out trust, there is no relationship. A coach advised me a extended time back that a child does not care how a lot you know until they know how a lot you treatment. And I have really followed that philosophy my full coaching career. I’ve presently identified as and had conversations with all the linebackers and enable them know I’m heading to make them a better player, but I’m also heading to make them a much better human being. And that just arrives from investing time jointly. Getting them arrive above to the property, staying all-around me and my relatives, observing how I interact with my wife and my young ones. And with any luck , we can portray a father-determine mentality to some of these men.”

Are you going to be recruiting north Louisiana, wherever you applied to coach at Louisiana Tech? And could you have stayed at Miami as defensive coordinator?

“Yes, totally I could have stayed at Miami as defensive coordinator, and, you know, Coach Diaz and I had discussions about when this arrived up. Like I stated, there was not heading to be another spot I would’ve still left Miami for. As considerably as the recruiting, we actually have not sat down and talked about locations. I’ve recruited Shreveport. I’ve actually recruited all of Louisiana. Houston. Wherever I can help the workers be most important, that is wherever I’ll be put.”

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Hey Blake, I loved talking to your brother Beau (previous Texas offensive lineman). You feel passionate about your higher university days (at Obvious Lake High in Houston). Beau claimed you were being extra most likely to go to NASA than the NFL. You experienced a good deal of talent, but you stunned this crew in the playoffs. You had never ever kicked in advance of, but they let you kick the sport-profitable additional issue and everything. What can you recall about that sport and your spirit as an undersized linebacker at Tulane?

“I imagine I normally experienced a enthusiasm for the video game, likely had a chip on my shoulder. Just becoming undersized and doubted my overall job. That recreation precisely, I assume it was the initial round of the playoffs against North Shore. I imagine they signed 17 Division I gamers off that staff, and I imagine we had maybe 5 or 6. Yeah, our kicker, he hadn’t designed the grades. So we experienced kicking tryouts I imagine on that Monday or Tuesday, and I ended up currently being the kicker. Lengthy story short, we had been down 21, and I was this kind of a terrible kicker, I accidentally kicked a squib kick off of their front line, and we recovered it and sort of got us heading. Finished up coming back and kicking the activity-profitable more stage at the very last minute. One thing you are going to hardly ever neglect, but I have normally experienced a enthusiasm for the match. My mother normally made use of to feel I would be an agent or a coach or anything. I’d look at re-runs of SportsCenter from 6 in the early morning to 6 at evening. I could memorize the full present by the conclude of the day. It is generally been one thing I’ve been passionate is sports, particularly soccer.”

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