|Austin Baird will be a main stay in the Marist offense this season and his speed is his biggest weapon.|
When Marist High School Head Football Coach Frank Geske looks at his current roster for next season he smiles thinking about the guys coming back. One of them is among the fastest athletes he has ever coaches.
“Austin Baird is one of the only 4.4 (laser) athletes I have had over the years,” said Geske in an interview this season. “He is a terrific talent.”
Baird is the returning Junior who impressed everyone with his play on both offense and defense. His yardage came from several places this year and as a two way star he was impressive. Always he had the speed in his favor.
He caught 38 passes for 635 yards and 12 TD’s. He averaged almost 17 yards per catch but split production with Montana commit and star WR Taylor Walcott.
On special teams he was a stunner with 730 yards in punt returns and an average of 25 yards per return.
Defensively he had 4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and a blocked field goal to go with his 40 tackles. The stats go on and on.
And when he gets the ball in his hands he enters the zone. Something special happens and there is no other way to explain it then to say he is a big time talent.
“He is a different kind of guy with the ball in his hands so we try and make sure that happens,” said Coach Geske.
Baird takes it all in stride saying, “It is a different feeling with the ball in my hands, stuff slows down a little bit and it makes it interesting.”
The 3.3 GPA Student is looking ahead to next year where he and returning star QB Kamerun Smith should be the premier 1-2 punch in the State. That he looks forward to.
“That should be fun. Kam is a terrific talent and we have a really great group of guys coming back too.”
Austin is at the very top of the OregonPreps.com best of 2013 class and will no doubt garner offers as he is hearing from a host of big time programs. He was named the League MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year this season and that is recognition for the fact that he did so much and was such a big factor in his teams success.
The Spartans lost their Semi-Final match to Mountain View in a close game but did so with Baird out 3 quarters as he went down with a blown ankle in the first.
“Mountain View was a great team and they had a great scheme to beat us. Once we lost to them I knew they would win it all and they deserved to,” said Baird.
With his proven 4.4 laser time and the body of work from the last two season Austin Baird is on his way to the collegiate ranks in our view. But he is more then just a football player as he has been an All State pitcher and short stop these past couple of years and is being recruited for Baseball as well.
What if he has to pick between football and baseball?
“Well I will worry about that if it happens. If I was really forced to choose it would lean a little towards football. So we will see what the future holds,” said an always thoughtful Baird.
Austin is hearing from schools all over the Pac 12 and beyond and is setting his schedule right now for the upcoming year where he will focus on getting too collegiate camps rather then combines and clinics; a trend that those in the know are recommending now.
Oregonpreps.com will continue to follow Austin Baird and the Marist Spartans as the winter moves to Spring.
Watch his 2011 Highlights to see what all the excitement is about.