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Matt Baker - Colleges Reporter

Colleges Reporter

I love college football more than everything but my son, my wife and my dog, so I have the perfect job covering the sport for the Tampa Bay Times. Even though I grew up in a basketball state (Indiana) and graduated from a non-football power (Northwestern University), I’m fascinated by the game, the traditions and the pageantry. I joined the Times in July 2011 after stops at the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader and Tulsa (Okla.) World. Since then, I’ve covered almost everything — high schools, the Bucs, the Rays, the Lightning and auto racing — before becoming a full-time college sports reporter before the 2015. When I’m not working, I’m usually on a run, chasing a toddler around and waiting for kickoff.

  1. Former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm could be an interesting option for the Bucs to consider, if they want to move on from Jameis Winston.
    As the Bucs possibly look into moving on from Jameis Winston, here’s what fans should know about this draft’s quarterback class.
  2. Jan. 22• Florida State Seminoles
    We'll know a lot about the 2020 Florida State team after their first five games of the season.
    FSU could be in for a rocky start to the Mike Norvell era, and why Nov. 7 could be a big day in the state.
  3. Jan. 22• Florida State Seminoles
    The Miami Hurricanes mascot Sebastian the Ibis cheers during last season's opener against Florida at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
    Manny Diaz’s Hurricanes will host Florida State and potential top-25 North Carolina.
  4. Jan. 22• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Norvell is Florida State’s new coach, taking over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping to build Memphis into a Group of Five power.
    The Mike Norvell era opens in Atlanta against West Virginia and includes trips to Louisville and Miami.
  5. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow holds the national championship trophy as safety Grant Delpit looks on after the Tigers beat Clemson 42-25 on Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
    The LSU Tigers faced five top-seven defenses, averaging 38 points against them.
  6. Florida head coach Dan Mullen celebrates after the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Virginia, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida won 36-28.
    Defensive tackle signee Gervon Dexter has earned his fifth star.
  7. Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) takes aim for Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) during a 2018 game.
    The grad transfer will be eligible immediately.
  8. Houston Cougars quarterback D'Eriq King (4) starts his touchdown running play during the fourth quarter of a 2017 game between USF and Houston at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The score put the Cougars into the lead and eventually won the game.
    The U added a lot of transfers last year and still went 6-7. Manny Diaz can’t afford a repeat.
  9. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman (55) during drills for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday.
    “They don’t yet have the mentality of a Miami Hurricane,” the linebacker says during the days leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.
  10. Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. (Times file)
    Antonio Callaway was a talented but troubled player for the Gators who didn’t last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.