The Duke Blue Devils got good news this spring when Class of 2019 commit Joey Baker decided to reclassify to the Class of 2018, getting him on campus a year earlier than originally anticipated.
Last week, he made that decision official by signing his national letter of intent, according to a report from Jaclyn Shambaugh of the Fayetteville Observer. Baker explained what went into the decision to reclassify.
“We didn’t really have any plans of reclassing for a while. The plan was just to go in as Class of 2019,” Baker said. “When we talked to the coaches, we felt like this would be best for me. So it definitely sped everything up for me and my mom.
“Leaving for college a whole year early isn’t an easy adjustment, but it’s exciting, and I think I’m ready for it.”
The addition of Baker to a class that already included the Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 12 players in the country, according to the 247Sports composite, firmly entrenches Duke with the top recruiting class in the country for 2018.
Baker had been ranked as the No. 27 player in the Class of 2019. He’s now ranked No. 31 in the Class of 2018.
With Tre Jones, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson all expected to slot into the starting lineup for Duke (which lost all five starters from last season’s Elite Eight squad), Baker will battle for playing time with those four 5-star recruits.