News and Tribune

July 22, 2011

Jeff High grad Ed Wright-Baker in the mix for starting quarterback at Indiana


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Before graduating from Jeffersonville High School in 2009, Edward Wright-Baker set 12 career records including the school’s all-time passing record with 6,558 yards. He was responsible for 31 touchdowns as a senior and 39 during his junior year when he led the Red Devils to a 10-3 record and a 5A sectional title.

Those statistics helped him earn a spot on the roster at Indiana University. Now, as a redshirt sophomore, he is competing for the Hoosiers’ starting quarterback position after last year’s quarterback, Ben Chappell, graduated. Wright-Baker will be goiong up against former Columbus East quarterback Dusty Kiel, among others, for the chance to command new head coach Kevin Wilson’s fast-paced offense.

Recently, Wright-Baker spoke with the News and Tribune about what he learned from a film freak, how he feels about the coaching changes with his current and former team, and how much he likes Young Jeezy.

Q: Have you kept up with what's been going on at Jeffersonville High School this past year?

A: Not really. I haven't been down there a lot, but I know they just got a new coach this year, but I haven't met him yet or anything.

Q: Did you hear about how they got Bob Redman from (Louisville Male) last year and then the team went  1-9 and it was one of the worst years in Jeff High history? What are your thoughts about that?

A: It was surprising that that happened, but I know the guys that are still there on the team. I actually was working out with the quarterback Conway and Williams a couple weeks ago, throwing with them and stuff. I think they're going to do good this year. They're going to have a big run. They're working hard. They just gotta get used to the coaching change. I think that was a big thing for them.

Q: You just had a big coaching change there at IU. What are some of the differences between this coaching staff as opposed to last year's coaching staff?

A: I don't really know how to answer this question. I don't wanna put down last year's coaching staff or nothing, but I don't know. This year's coaching staff, I mean they're pretty hard on us and they push us. The difference is the new offense we're running this year. It's an up-tempo offense, real fast. We've been doing a lot of running every day. We've got the whole team here this summer. We're building a better team chemistry. So I mean that's helping a lot.

Q: Is there anything in particular that you really like that this coaching staff is doing this year, or has done so far?

A: I think having all the guys — I mean, it's really not the coaching staff for us. I think what's going good this summer is like, everybody, the whole team's here and everybody's just working hard every day. We're out having seven-on-seven and lifting, running every day, the whole team is doing it. There's not one person that's not here so that's going to benefit us this year, so. We got the new coach, he's been doing that.

Q: More personal to you, how has the competition been for quarterback so far this year?

A: It's been pretty good. I haven't really been worried about the competition perspective, I've been worrying about myself because I think that's how I'm going to strive and get better. I think I play worse when I worry about what other people are doing. I just worry about myself, so, I mean, as far as myself, I've been preparing hard this summer, doing extra stuff, watching extra tapes, doing extra footwork every day so. I think it's going to be a good battle.

Q: Kind of going off of that, one of the other guys, Dusty Kiel, he played for Columbus East and you guys played against each other in high school, right? Does that kind of intensify the competition for you at all or do you feel like, did Columbus East beat you guys when you were at Jeff?

A: Yeah, I mean they beat us, but I mean we're teammates now, so it's really not no. I mean, he's a good friend of mine. We hang out, we see each other and talk to each other every day for real, so, I mean it's, I'm really not worried about what happened in high school, because I mean that was over with. They beat us up pretty bad his years of high school but I'm having fun right now.

Q: You said you were pretty good friends with Ben Chappell last year. Did you learn anything from him or did he give you any advice or anything that kind of stuck with you that you're going to try to implement this season?

A: Yeah, his main advice was just stay in the film room. That's what I've learned from him. He was a film freak. He was always in the film room, so that's what I've been trying to do and that's what helps me. If you know the offense well and know the defensive coverages and everything's real in place for you to succeed, so that's what I've learned from him. And he did pretty good when he was here. He had great numbers last year. Now he's working out with us still right now and getting ready to prepare to go to the NFL. I'm actually going to work out with him in like 45 minutes.

Q: What do you think of your shot to start next year?

A: The sky's the limit. Coach Wilson is going to put the best quarterback who knows his offense well. I've been preparing with film. And it's all on me. I think I have a pretty high chance.

Q: How do you feel about some of the changes in the Big Ten like Nebraska joining the conference and kind of the scandal going on at Ohio State? How do you think that will affect IU? Do you think it will affect them at all?

A: With Nebraska I think it's great that they're in the conference. It makes the conference a lot better and we get that extra, we're competing for a championship. There's a championship game now this year. So I think that's a great thing. And with Ohio State stuff, I don't really think that has an effect on us. I know a little bit about it, what I see on ESPN sometimes but I haven't really dug much into it. It's something not of our concern. It's on them. We've had compliance meetings. We know all the rules and stuff so. I really think that has no affect on us.

Q: Do you have any thoughts about Terrelle Pryor and what happened with him and you also being a Big Ten quarterback? Do you have any thoughts about what they did?

A: I don't really know what they did exactly, just the stuff that I hear in the media. I really don't have an answer for that question because I don't want to answer about another team.

Q: Is there any particular game or team or anything that you kind of, I mean I know you want to win every game, but is there any game in particular that means a lot to you or would mean a lot to the team or Hoosier fans if you won?

A: I think all our games are pretty important. Our first game. A big game to me is the Wisconsin game. Just because, I mean, you know what happened last year. That's not us for real. So that'll be a game, a big game for us, but I'm pretty sure every game is going to be a big game. Ball State is going to be a big game. It's what we're getting ready in camp for, so. I don't want to overlook nobody.

Q: Kind of moving on to the fun question. Let's say if you were stranded on a desert island and you could take an iPod with five songs, what songs would those be?

A: Young Jeezy, “Win.” I would take probably the first five songs off Young Jeezy's new album. Yeah, I'm a big Jeezy fan.

Q: Do you have anything you want to say to Hoosier fans out there as far as this coming season? Any predictions or anything?

A: Ahh, nope. I mean just be excited about the season. It's a different team. Morale is great up here. We're ready to go. We're ready to represent Hoosier nation well. It should be an exciting season.