He’s a Cajun Baker

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Former ACCS standout signs to play Div. 1 ball at Nicholls State under Daye.

NATCHEZ – Tim Baker has been protecting quarterbacks and blowing open holes for his running backs for six years at both Adams County Christian Academy and most recently Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

But this Christmas season, he received one of the best gifts he could have ever gotten, when Ferriday native Daryl Daye, the head coach of the Nicholls State Colonels dipped into the junior college ranks and inked Baker to a full scholarship late last week, extending his football career.

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&uot;It definitely made the holidays a lot nicer,&uot; Baker said Wednesday. &uot;It feels real good to get this out of the way.&uot;

Daye could not be reached for comment.

But even though both are from the area, Baker admitted that he didn’t know too much about Daye before he visited the Colonel campus, – except, of course, that the coach is famous for getting results.

&uot;I had heard of him, I knew he played at Huntington and down at LSU,&uot; Baker said. &uot;I feel like Coach Daye’s got a really good up and coming program down there,&uot; Baker said. &uot;He seems to have made a lot of progress since he took over.&uot;

Baker, a member of Co-Lin’s transfer program, will be enrolled on the Thibodaux, La., campus starting this January, which should give him a great head start in the fall.

&uot;I feel like Co-Lin was a real good stepping stone for me,&uot; he said. &uot;It gave me a little more exposure, as opposed to coming out of an Academy school.&uot;

Baker was the starting center and a vital cog in the Wolves’ season, which included a fast 4-0 start and a No. 13 national ranking at one point in the season. Playing this past year under David Cross may have helped prepare Baker for this new level more than anything.

&uot;He used to be on the Mississippi State football staff, so he ran it like a big-time program up (in Wesson),&uot; he said. &uot;That’s just the way he did things, all the way down to the last little detail. I think that too, will help me out a lot in the long run.&uot;

Baker said he thinks the Colonels, a longtime doormat in the Southland Conference, are about to turn the corner.

&uot;In the next season or two, I see us at the top of the conference,&uot; he said regarding the squad that finished 3-8 in 2001 with a win over a Division 1 school. &uot;Up until the last game, every point they scored was done by a freshman or sophomore. And they were also really competitive in pretty much all of their games, so that’s a big plus.&uot;

Baker said after he participated in the state JUCO All-Star game in Booneville earlier this month, he had a plethora of schools ringing his phone, such as Delta State, East Tennessee St., Charleston Southern and Southern Arkansas, to name a few.

But in the end, he said he felt the move to Cajun Country was the best for him.

&uot;The location is fairly close to home and it seemed right.&uot;

As far as the outlook for his playing time goes, Baker said he thought the current starting center on the depth chart, who is a junior, would be moved over to left tackle.