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The run play is designed to go left, but the defensive end gets off his block immediately, almost as soon as Budda Baker takes the handoff. Without hesitation, Baker shifts to his right to avoid the defender and accelerates.

He’s not 5 yards downfield and if you freeze the YouTube video, it’s easy to see a linebacker has an angle — at the very least, he’ll be able to bottle Baker in a gauntlet of linemen. All of a sudden, there is no angle. Baker finds another gear and tears past the defender, who looks like a matador surprised he was not gorged by a bull, racing into the secondary.

It’s evident from there that no one will come close to touching the Bellevue star in the final 40 yards to the end zone.

The blurry highlight video is all one needs to see to know why Baker is so special. It’s the athleticism, the speed and the knack for making big plays — and that’s just on offense. As a safety, Baker is ruthless in pursuit and unafraid to lower his shoulder.

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It’s the reason so many of the top college programs covet his services. Baker, who verbally committed to Oregon on Dec. 20 before reneging on that decision Jan. 17, still has to decide between Washington and UCLA. He will most likely make his decision known on National Signing Day at a ceremony at Bellevue High.

Baker’s natural talent, combined with his insane work ethic on the practice field, makes him by far the best football player in Washington’s high-school class of 2014. Attention will follow him wherever he decides to play next.

Keenan Curran and Devante Downs will not get the same star treatment when they set foot on college campuses. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting about them, though.

Keenan Curran

Curran, who played at Federal Way, verbally committed to San Jose State, where he will presumably play defensive back. That alone, though, is enough to leave some scratching their heads.

“Maybe he went to camp (at Washington) and didn’t run as fast as he should of or could of; maybe he had a bad day testingwise, but off of film he’s every bit as good as some of the players I’ve seen Washington offer,” one college assistant coach said.

That same assistant said he firmly believes Curran is talented enough to play in the Pac-12 and raved about his athletic ability, speed and length.

The 6-foot-3 Curran also played quarterback for Federal Way, something that could have hindered his recruiting. Curran isn’t a natural quarterback and had to be talked into the position when he was a sophomore. But it’s the skills he showed under center that make him special, Federal Way coach John Meagher said.

“He’s exactly what we want in our system … high football IQ, decision maker, athlete and when he has the ball in his hands, he can make things happen,” Meagher said.

Devante Downs

Downs has not played a snap of football in more than a year, but that did not stop Pac-12 programs from recruiting the Mountlake Terrace senior.

After tearing his ACL in June, Downs spurned offers from Stanford, Washington, Nebraska and Arizona State to sign with California. He was also selected to the U.S. Army All-American Game, even though he could not participate due to his injury.

So what makes Downs so special?

“He has a rare combination of just being able to do, at his size, things that usually smaller players do,” Mountlake Terrace coach Tony Umayam said. “He has a nice athleticism, has a really high level (of) overall football skill that really makes him a special player.”

It is still undecided what side of the ball Downs will play at California, but he has made an impression both in the backfield and at linebacker. He rushed for 1,271 yards and 24 touchdowns during his junior season, and made 63 tackles, including 17 for a loss and seven sacks.

Downs is rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN. lists him as the No. 6 fullback in the country. At 6-2 and 225 pounds, Downs certainly is a physical specimen. The one problem he could face, though, is finding a position that suits him.

“He’s definitely got the size and skill set to play at the next level, but it’s a matter of what he’s going to play,” recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman said.

Huffman sees Downs as more of a short-yardage or blocking back, which doesn’t necessarily fit into the offensive schemes of California coach Sonny Dykes, who likes his running backs to be a factor in the passing game. Huffman believes he could be a little too big for outside linebacker because he doesn’t have the explosiveness.

“But the thing he does have going for him,” Huffman said, “with his size, I think his position versatility helps him, and then it should be a matter of how well does he come back from the knee injury.”

List of top 100 Washington state high school football recruits: Class of 2014

Blue Chip

Budda Baker, Ath, 5-10, 175, Bellevue

Red chips (16)
These players are considered capable of starting in a major conference such as the Pac-12 or starring in a lesser conference. Players are not necessarily listed in order of ranking.
Player Pos. Ht Wt School (city) College choice
Drew Clarkson OL 6-4 275 Camas Oregon State
Kaleb McGary OL 6-8 280 Fife
Marcus Griffin DT 6-3 292 Bellevue
Devante Downs LB 6-3 230 Mountlake Terrace California
Keenan Curran DB 6-2 185 Federal Way San Jose State
Deion Singleton S 6-1 175 Chiawana (Pasco)
Isaiah Brandt-Sims RB 6-0 185 Wenatchee Stanford
Nick Mitchell QB 6-2 175 Mount Si (Snoqualmie) Oregon State
Zach Eagle WR 5-9 170 Camas Eastern Washington
Shane Bowman DL 6-4 242 Bellevue Washington
Drew Sample TE 6-5 235 Newport (Bellevue) Washington
Drew Lewis S 6-2 196 Eastlake (Sammamish) Washington
Timmy Haehl S 6-1 190 Bellevue Harvard
Morgan Richey OG 6-5 275 Bellevue
Andre Dillard OL 6-5 240 Woodinville Washington State
Alek Kacmarcik LB 6-2 202 Woodinville Eastern Washington
White chips (83)
The rest of the top 100 prospects in the state.
Player Pos. Ht Wt School (city) College choice
Drew Stocker WR 5-10 165 Quincy Nevada
Kevin Thomson QB 6-2 175 Auburn Riverside (Auburn) UNLV
Reilly Hennessey QB 6-3 189 Camas Eastern Washington
Conner Baumann RB 6-2 230 Newport (Bellevue) Eastern Washington
Kilton Anderson QB 6-3 200 Skyline (Sammamish) South Alabama
Josh Smith WR 6-3 198 Cascade (Everett) South Alabama
Patiole Pesefea DL 6-2 250 Foss (Tacoma) Eastern Washington
Terence Grady WR 6-5 190 Kentwood (Covington) Eastern Washington
Reese Carlson WR 6-4 190 Gig Harbor Montana
Cole Karstetter DB 5-11 170 Ferris (Spokane) Eastern Washington
Dave Ungerer III Ath 5-7 155 Pullman Idaho
E’Lon Mack WR 5-11 188 Heritage (Vancouver) Idaho
Asan NeilEvergin RB 5-8 170 Timberline (Lacey) Eastern Washington
Kaleb Davis OT 6-4 255 Mountlake Terrace
Jaremy Martin LB 6-2 240 Lynden
Max Gray WR 6-0 160 Arlington
Jordan Rose OT 6-6 305 Freeman (Rockford)
Randin Crecelius OG 6-5 280 Cascade (Everett)  Portland State
Monike Sarte DT 6-1 285 Fife
Nick Foerstel DE 6-3 215 Tumwater
Brad Kimball DE 6-3 235 Mercer Island
Brady Bagnall LB 6-3 230 Evergreen (Vancouver)  Air Force
Michael DiGenova LB 6-1 204 Camas
Alex Weber LB 6-2 225 Chiawana (Pasco)
Jake Luton QB 6-6 220 MarysvillePilchuck  Idaho
Jonah Jordan OG 6-2 265 Mead (Spokane)  Eastern Washington
Jarius McDade DL 6-2 300 O’Dea (Seattle)
Jevin Pahinui DE 6-4 265 Mountlake Terrace
Elisha Pa’aga DL 5-10 255 E. Catholic (Sammamish)
Josh Wright DL 6-1 220 Skyline (Sammamish)
Teague James RB 5-10 185 Graham-Kapowsin
Joey Zamora QB 6-3 225 Chiawana (Pasco)
C.J. Lat LB 6-0 200 Lake Stevens
Travis Bakken OL 6-6 250 EdmondsWoodway
Clifton Lozano RB 5-7 180 Chiawana (Pasco)
Henderson Belk WR 6-4 230 Kamiak (Mukilteo)
Chandler Newell OL 6-3 215 Chiawana (Pasco)
Jose Jimenez OL 6-0 235 Eisenhower (Yakima)
Mark DeRuyter DL 6-0 185 Chiawana (Pasco)
Evan Miksch DL 6-3 255 Lake Stevens
Mitch Fettig DB 6-0 175 Olympia Eastern Washington
Andrew Schwieterman DB 5-10 175 Central Kitsap
Leon Siofele RB 5-11 210 Union (Camas)
Ridge Harmon WR 6-0 170 Eisenhower (Yakima)
Deshon Williams WR 6-3 204 Tahoma (Covington)
Mason Johnson OL 6-3 309 Kentlake (Kent)
Owen Taylor OL 6-4 290 Gig Harbor
J.D. Boden OL 6-4 300 Central Valley (Spokane)
Kayden Maughan OL 6-3 264 Chiawana (Pasco)
Jakob Stoll DL 6-2 260 Wenatchee
Brandon Kaufman DL 5-11 220 Eastlake (Sammamish)
Tanner Pauly WR 5-11 175 Shadle Park (Spokane)
Nick Kiourkas TE 6-2 204 Shadle Park (Spokane)
Pierre Le Dorze QB 6-2 225 O’Dea (Seattle)
Beau Shain LB 6-2 215 Mount Si (Snoqualmie)
Chance Ragsdale RB 5-9 150 Mountlake Terrace
Rayshaun Miller RB 5-8 165 Lincoln (Tacoma)
Trevor Martin WR 5-10 169 University (Spokane)
Alexei Oro TE 6-3 247 O’Dea (Seattle)
Mason Schutt QB 6-5 211 Prosser
Tanner Gueller QB 6-3 225 W.F. West (Chehalis) Idaho State
Jack Flor LB 6-2 210 O’Dea (Seattle)
Tate Razor DL 6-5 215 Bellevue Christian
Stuart Gillin LB 6-2 205 Walla Walla
Jack Neary QB 6-3 205 Issaquah
Nick Streubel OL 6-3 312 Coupeville
Tommy Nelson WR 6-2 190 Issaquah
Reggie Long OL 6-3 295 Skyline (Sammamish)
Shay Dingfelder OL 6-1 285 Issaquah
Jalani Phelps WR 6-4 180 Lynden
Joey Cassano WR 5-1 190 Auburn Mountainview
JayTee Tiuli DL 6-4 310 Federal Way
Kurt Calhoun LB 6-1 215 Zillah
Brady Widner Ath 6-0 175 Zillah
J’Maka Love WR 6-0 185 Lincoln (Tacoma)
Travante Robinson RB 5-8 150 Jackson (Mill Creek)
Darius Pati WR 6-3 190 Eisenhower (Yakima)
Austin Striplin LB 6-3 245 Sumner
Drew Griffin Ath 6-1 205 Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma)
Jack Gellatly RB 5-11 190 Issaquah
Isaiah Holmes DL 6-3 240 Lynnwood
Colin Cossette RB 6-0 210 Kennedy Catholic (Burien)
Letrez Jones RB 5-11 180 Meridian (Bellingham)
The annual Seattle Times chip list is determined by reporter Joshua Liebeskind with input from recruiting experts and high-school coaches.
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