Quinton Baker‘s roller coaster ride at this level has come full circle.
Then-Western Kentucky head coach Mike Sanford dismissed Baker from his football program in April of 2018 “[d]ue to consistent violations of team rules.” With new WKU head coach Tyson Helton now in charge, Baker has been welcomed back into the fold, although there was a question as to whether he would be eligible to play for the Hilltoppers in 2019.
This week, the Bowling Green Daily News reported, the university confirmed that the NCAA has ruled Baker is immediately eligible and can play for the Conference USA school this coming season. Because Baker played in only two games at FCS Portland State in 2018, it was a near slam-dunk for The Association to grant a waiver.
In two years with the Hilltoppers, Baker ran for 775 yards and five touchdowns, adding another 134 yards and a touchdown on 17 receptions. As a true freshman in 2016, Baker’s 542 yards rushing were second on the team; he was third in 2017 with 233 yards.
That on-field production, however, was mitigated somewhat by off-field woes.
In April of 2016, Baker was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. In June of the following year, he was one of six WKU football players indicted in connection to an assault outside of a frat house; he ultimately pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanors.
As a result of that incident, Baker was suspended for the 2017 opener against Eastern Kentucky.