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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jordan Baker, DB, Luther College

Jordan Baker the DB and wide receiver for Luker College in Iowa recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot. (Photo Credit: NEUSE Photo)
  • Name: Jordan Baker
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 180lbs
  • Position: Defensive Back and Slot Receiver
  • College: Luther College Decorah, IA
  • Twitter: @jordan_bake2

 Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

  • Being from California, everywhere is typically a large city. Tracy is obviously growing, but I love how small it is. It gives you the opportunity to explore, but it’s difficult to get lost.  

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

  • In my opinion, practice comes first because repetition is key to success on the field. It allows you to build confidence in yourself because certain movements become second nature. I believe that film study comes second to practice because through film, you see things that may not be apparent during practice and can only benefit you in the long run. I take pride in how much film I watch, not only in terms of scouting opposition, but critiquing and making adjustments to myself day after day. Lastly, strength and conditioning is third because in order to perform to the best of your abilities, you need to treat your body right and ensure that it can handle the amount that is asked of you and then some. Personally, I take all three facets of the game very seriously because I want to be the best version of me every time I step on the field. Knowing that I am constantly maximizing my potential by thriving in these categories can only set me up for success. 

What do you worry about, and why?

  • As strange as it is to say, I feel that I don’t worry about anything that I do not have control over. The things that I can control are my primary focus and everything else is treated as background noise. 

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

  • My junior year of college was the first time I have ever played defense and I was placed as the starting corner against one of the best passing offenses in the conference. I went into the game timid and uncertain of my abilities. During the game I had gotten beaten over the top by the receiver I was covering and he ended up scoring. I was upset with myself because I was not used to being in the position, but came to the realization that if I want to be successful as a corner I needed to practice more than everyone else. Following the game, I reached out to my position coach and asked him if we could take extra time before and after practice to work on certain skills that would help me become a better cover corner. I overcame this failure because I figured out that playing corner requires extra practice, a more than level head, and that it is nearly impossible to win every rep after only playing the position two weeks prior to the game. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • A teammate recently said to me “You know your body as in you are able to do whatever you think of doing you can do. Whether that’s agility, catching, blocking, tackling, you name it. As long as you can see it visually and understand it then you are able to communicate with yourself in order to do it and do it right. You don’t stop until it’s perfectly how you envisioned it”. I took this as I am a motivated individual and that I do not let any task seem like it is out of my reach. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

  • Sam Bartlett from Simpson College was hands down the best player I have played against in college. He was way larger than myself and had a lot of skill as a receiver, but I knew that he was just another player which helped me win the majority of our matchups.  

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?

  • If I couldn’t play football, God forbid, I would most likely work for a major company like AT&T because I will have a degree in business management by the end of this semester. I have always been fascinated by the interactions and scenarios involved in the management profession and I know I have the capabilities to thrive in that environment.  

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

  • I would ensure that I have a clean desk because I cannot stand having a dirty working area. But just to make things clear, I never let things get too messy because I am somewhat of a neat freak. 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

  • I would save the three strangers because I have a history of putting others before myself. Thinking in a logical sense, depending on your age, you are more likely to encounter strangers than your family members. Also, by sacrificing one of your own, you are saving three others so that they may live a better life.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

  • Any role that Samuel Jackson has played because I admire his versatility as an actor. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

  • The biggest adversity that I have faced was the day I lost my grandfather and I had a game that weekend. I sat in my room and thought it would be best that I fly home for the services, but then realized that wasn’t what he would want me to do. He had always pushed me to be the best version of myself, whether that was in the classroom or on the field. Even now I am not over his death because a piece of me always feels absent, but I know he is still supporting me and I know I can achieve my goals through the numerous lessons I have learned from him. Everyday whether it is doing a homework assignment, lifting, practice, etc. I think of him and how he would comment on my performance. I use it as a chip on my shoulder in a sense because I know he expects nothing but greatness from his grandson.  

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • My most embarrassing moment was when I muffed a punt return because I misjudged the ball and it bounced off my facemask. It was embarrassing because I’ve made difficult catches almost everyday and during this one punt return I lost my focus because I was thinking about running instead of securing the ball. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • The most memorable play of my college career was a field goal block I made to give us a fighting chance to win the last game of the season. One of my teammates told me prior to the play “if you block this, we will win” and I had laser focus on the snap. I blocked the kick, giving our offense an opportunity to take the lead.  

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Hustla – WC feat. Juvenile because I have tunnel vision as I continue my journey towards my goal. I am a player who will not make excuses for myself because things become difficult. 

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?

  • The most important trait I believe will help me succeed at the next level is that I do not back down from anything. I will analyze the situation and get it done by any means necessary. I have been overlooked most of my life because people only see size as means of success, but in my years of football I have never let that define me because I make sure I am moving as fast as I possibly can. 

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

  • I would bring back Malcolm X because I have always been fascinated with his life. He turned his entire life around despite the challenges he faced on a daily basis. I would also ask him about ways to resolve or at least aid me towards an understanding of race relations.  

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?

  • If I were to open a dance club I would name it The Dirty Bird because I have always been a Jamal Anderson fan.  

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

  • The most underrated player in the NFL is Charvarius Ward because he is a threat on the defensive side of the ball. He brings consistent aggressiveness no matter who he is covering. I guess I call him underrated because he was an undrafted free agent with everything under the sun to prove and he did it. He didn’t make excuses for himself, he saw what he wanted and he followed it wholeheartedly.  

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • I would rather be respected because it doesn’t take a lot for someone to like you. I feel more proud as a man when I have others respect because that means they know the type of person I am and the type of mentality I carry. 

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

  • Tyrann Mathieu is an idol of mine because he had one of the biggest bounce backs in my opinion. I admired his play style in college and still do to this day. His off the field issues lingered, tarnishing his reputation, but he still fought for what he wanted and did not let that part of his life define his future. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • Who doesn’t love winning? I of course love to win, but the fact of the matter is, is that you cannot win every football game. I don’t necessarily hate losing because I internalize it as a learning experience. Losing teaches you that if you want to be successful you need to understand that nothing is given and you have to earn every moment.  

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

  • The biggest influence on my life is my father because he has been by my side since day one. If I ever had any questions or doubts he would be there to reassure me that as long as I keep being me, anything and everything is achievable. Ever since I was young, I have dreamed of playing in the NFL and he has never once doubted me and my abilities. He has far from an easy work schedule yet since I was in middle school he has always made it a priority to put me in the best position possible to succeed. He would take me to early camps and late night training sessions and never have I heard him complain once. He has always put me before himself and for that I am forever grateful to call him my father and I made a promise to him that I will achieve my dream. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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