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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Recruiting notes: Baker gets first B1G offer

By Roger Brown

Shortly after the 2013 recruiting class was signed, the Rutgers coaching staff met to discuss their needs for 2014. They determined that one of those needs was Jon Baker, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman from Millis High School.

Rutgers offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski extended an offer to Baker during a trip to Massachusetts earlier this month.

"I'm not sure how they heard about Jon, but he (Wroblewski) told me that after reviewing his film and looking at his transcript, based on their needs he would be a good candidate for their program," Millis coach Dale Olmstead said. "Then, when Holy Cross saw the update, they offered as well."

Before he received offers from Rutgers and Holy Cross, Baker had offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Harvard and Yale.

Baker plays right guard for Millis, but because of his height is projected to be a center in college. He played center for Millis as a freshman.

"Not only his height, but he has the football IQ to handle the position," Olmstead said. "He plays guard for us, but he makes all the line calls from that position."

Olmstead said Baker is interested in the medical field, and that he will likely visit Stanford this summer.

"He's getting letters from a lot of major programs, but Boston College has kept his interest the most," Olmstead said. "BC has him rated as the top lineman in New England, and they're constantly calling. They've lost some top talent from Massachusetts to other programs in recent years, and the new staff wants to keep those kids here.

"BC is his top choice right now, but that could change."

February has been kind to Dexter School offensive lineman James Hendren.

Hendren, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound tackle, entered the month with no scholarship offers, but has since landed four: Holy Cross, Rutgers, Massachusetts and Old Dominion.

"Things are picking up," Dexter school coach Casey Day said. "He's really close with a couple other schools. I think he's going to visit Wake Forest and Duke during spring break, so hopefully he get offers then. We're still waiting to see what BC is going to do."

Old Dominion has also made an offer to Dexter School junior Dan DiNicola, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle.

Two Massachusetts players in the Class of 2014 are included on the ESPN Watch List: St. Sebastian's linebacker Connor Strachan and St. John's Prep running back Jon Thomas.

Strachan, who lives in Wellesley, has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Wake Forest.

"The schools I think are close that we might visit soon are Penn State, Iowa and Rutgers," Strachan said.

Strachan's uncle Steve played at Boston College and in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders, and his brother Brian is a sophomore wide receiver at Brown.

Thomas, a Peabody resident who helped St. John's Prep win the Division I Super Bowl last season, has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Holy Cross, Maryland and Massachusetts. The Maryland offer came earlier this month.

"I got offered on the spot when I visited [Maryland] two weeks ago," Thomas said. "Maryland was very nice. Great facilities."

Thomas finished his junior season with 1,794 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 220 carries. He also caught nine passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school football players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at