Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) has been one of the top programs in the state the last few years, and have started sending athletes off to various D1 programs around the country. This past Sunday, Alex Neale and Cody Baker joined that list when both committed to play for the University of Montana.
“They are an all around great program,” Baker told NEI. “You can get a fantastic education and win football games at a high level.”
For Neale the idea of being relatively close to home excites him, as his family will be able to make the trip over on game days to see him play. He also spoke highly of their tradition, and the overall feel of campus.
“They have a great history of football and championships,” Neale said. “It just felt like home with the amount of trees and atmosphere of the University that makes me feel like I can have a great college experience there.”
The six-feet-four inch, 265 pound Baker is committing as a defensive end, and is very happy about that. Along with his defensive duties, he started at LT offensively last season, but really shows his highest potential on the defensive side.
Neale on the other hand is an interior lineman on the offensive side. Some consider him to be the state’s top interior lineman, and he has shown versatility to play just about any of the five offensive line spots.
Being that Baker and Neale are close, it may not come as a surprise that they essentially committed together. Neale had been strongly considering the University for sometime, and Baker was there to help him make the final choice.
“It was not planned,” Baker said. “After I committed, I talked to him and was able to get him on board. I knew he had the offer and loved the country.”
Picking up two of Washington’s top athletes in one day is a great day for just about any program. The Montana staff has done a tremendous job in the state for a number of years now, and appears happy to have these two on board.
“I called up Coach (Torrey) Myers and he was ecstatic,” Neal noted. “He was really pumped to have me commit after Cody had committed. Kind of a nice present from Eastside Catholic I would think.”
With recruiting out of the way, these two can focus solely on helping their team win ball games. Each have set personal goals of being All-State, but are quick to say that winning a state championship is the ultimate goal.
Their first game is just over three weeks away, and you can bet the Crusaders will be ready to play host when Bishop Alemany (Misson Hills, Calif.) comes to town.