After signing an Under Armour All-American in January, new linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto is at it again with the addition of Zikerrion Baker. The three-star outside ‘backer from Mooringsport, La., signed with Ole Miss on National Signing Day, joining Josh Clarke, Breon Dixon, Mohamed Sanogo and Brenden Williams as the newest members of Peveto’s position group.
As a senior at Milden High, Baker led the team with 81 tackles while pitching in 13 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and six sacks. He also holds offers from Grambling State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and UT-San Antonio.
Baker is an extremely physical specimen who is not shy when it comes to knocking the hell out of ballcarriers. Already 6'1, 210 pounds, the rangy defender might be able to contribute immediately to a defense in desperate need of linebackers as new defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff shifts from a 4-2-5 to a 4-3.
The only proven linebacker holdover from last year is DeMarquis Gates, who will graduate after the 2017 season. JUCO transfer Detric Bing-Dukes has three years of eligibility and Syracuse transfer Qaadir Shepard will have three years after sitting out 2016 (though he could slide down to the defensive line if need be).
Baker registered an impressive 32.8” vertical at The Opening Regionals and an even more impressive 4.41 shuttle. He also runs a 4.6 40-yard dash—which is impressive for a 210-pound linebacker. Coach BDP might have the steal of the class in Baker because of his rare size-to-speed ratio.