Hi guys, Bronco fan here. Many of us were watching very keenly (as you might imagine) for any sign that we would find a playmaker at NT to help us turn around what in 2008 may have been the worst rushing defense in NFL history (not statistically proven, but you'd find few people who would argue). Our conversion to the 3-4 this year seems to be set except for possibly the most critical position in the scheme, nose tackle. We were hoping to get Raji, but GB nabbed him a few picks in front of us. Then, pick by pick, round by round, we expected to get an NT -- and didn't!
Then, yesterday, came the news that Denver signed former Nittany Lion Chris Baker as an undrafted free agent. A little research and we learned that his time at Penn St. was a little controversial. Our excellent bloggers over at Mile High Report have written this about him:
6'2" 326lbs, had charcter trouble so bad he had to go to a new school to start setting things right again. Was he successful? We'll know soon. I knew from the first time I kicked him off my board that destiny would bring us together again. Can't say I like it.
Some have noted that he seems to have put his past issues behind him, going on to have some success at Hampton. Here is the MHR write up on him:
Chris Baker (6-foot-2, 326 pounds) is a rookie defensive tackle from Hampton University who joined the Broncos as a college free agent on April 27, 2009... Totaled 69 tackles (32 solo), 8.5 sacks (60 yds.) and one blocked kick in 11 games (8 starts) in his only season at Hampton in 2008 after transferring from Penn State University, where he earned a starting role as a sophomore in 2007... Recorded 43 tackles (21 solo) and 4.5 sacks (37 yds.) in 20 games (8 starts) during his two seasons playing for Penn State (2006-07)... Helped the Nittany Lions' defense finish No. 7 in the nation against the run as a starter in 2007, allowing only 87.9 rushing yards per game, and led the defensive line with 37 tackles, including 4.5 sacks (37 yds.)... Saw time as a reserve in eight games for Penn State as a redshirt freshman in 2006... Competed at several defensive line positions during his collegiate career at both Hampton and Penn State... Played three seasons of football at Windsor High School in Windsor, Conn.... Competed in basketball only during his sophomore prep season... Voted senior class president at Windsor High School... Christopher Isaiah Baker was born on Oct. 8, 1987, in Windsor, Conn.
My question for you loyal Penn Staters is this. I've done a cursory sweep through the available articles about the "incidents" that got Chris kicked off your team, but I still have no sense about him as a man or whether the ejection was warranted.
Can anyone give me the real story about what happened that seems to have derailed a very promising collegiate career for a very promising (and nice) player?
Very indebted for anything you can offer -- testimonials about his character, links to articles you may know about that summarize what happened, or just your own nutshell interpretation.
How do you feel about Chris Baker?
Future superstar potential (27 votes)
Okay player, was good for us and I'm sorry he was cut (13 votes)
Somewhat immature but hopefully he has learned from his mistakes (44 votes)
Danger Will Robinson! (11 votes)
95 total votes