SEATTLE – Budda Baker, the Washington Huskies’ freshman free safety, has played well enough during his first college football season to elicit constant praise from the UW coaching staff.
But he’s done little enough in the turnover department to elicit constant text messages from defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake, like this one:
“I’ll shoot him a text when I think about it around 10:30 at night: ‘Budda, you have no interceptions,’ ” Lake said earlier this week.
Indeed, Baker does not yet have an interception. As a team, the Huskies have five, and junior cornerback Marcus Peters is the only member of UW’s secondary to intercept a pass this season. He has three.
Still, Baker, who was once committed to Oregon, has done more right than wrong. His 35 tackles are fourth-most on the team.
“What I really love is his effort,” Lake said. “And that shows up every day in practice. He’s always flying to the football. He’s just a great example for everybody on defense – ‘This is how you play football.’ You run to the football as fast as you can, you play physical, you hit what’s in front of you, and you get ready for the next play.
“And that’s what Budda does. The plays are going to come. If he just keeps playing at that level with that effort, the interceptions will come.”
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