John David Baker, an offensive quality control analyst who followed offensive coordinator Graham Harrell to the USC last January, will soon be promoted to the Trojan’s full-time soccer team, assuming Harrell remains in his position at the USC.
Baker, 29, will train internal recipients and closed wings, said a person familiar with the decision. A former Abilene Christian quarterback, Baker worked primarily with the USC signal communicators during his first season as a quality control analyst, aiding in the transition of the Trojans to the Air Raid offensive.
USC did not have an internal receiver coach on its staff last season. Keary Colbert previously handled the Trojan recipients, while John Baxter worked with closed wings, along with his duties as a special equipment coach. Baxter was fired after the bowl game, after a season in which those tight end contributed only 15 total catches.
Baker’s promotion comes a month after Harrell signed a multi-year extension that made him one of Pac-12’s highest paid assistants. When Harrell decided to stay at the USC and take the same job in Texas, where he was offered a more lucrative long-term treatment to return to his home state, he consulted with Baker, whom he considers one of his closest friends.
The presence of your close confidant as a full-time staff member could play an important role in convincing Harrell to refuse any other opportunity that may arise. However, it is widely believed that Baker would follow Harrell wherever he trains.
With Harrell’s mentor, Mike Leach, leaving the state of Washington to train in the state of Mississippi, it is not difficult to connect the points between Harrell and the sudden vacancy of head coach in Pullman.
Last month, after signing his extension, Harrell explained that his family was delighted with his life in Los Angeles. In the USC, with the confidence of coach Clay Helton, he also had the autonomy to execute his air attack.
Certainly, it doesn’t hurt that USC is willing to promote one of its best coaching friends.
“This is too good a place,” Harrell said last month. “At the end of the day, I want to win a national championship. Of all the opportunities I had to do that, this is the best opportunity. “