Dallas Baker at Pittsburgh Steelers' 2009 training camp.
|No. 86 Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|Date of birth:November 10, 1982|
|Place of birth: New Smyrna Beach, Florida|
|Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||Weight: 206 lb (93 kg)|
|College: University of Florida|
|NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 7 / Pick: 227|
|Debuted in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Steelers|
|* Pittsburgh Steelers ( 2007– 2009)|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* First-team All-SEC (2006)|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at CFL.ca|
Dallas Leon Baker (born November 10, 1982) is an American professional football player who is a wide receiver with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Baker played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he has played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League (AFL).
Baker was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and attended New Smyrna Beach High School, where he was a star wide receiver for the New Smyrna Beach Barracudas high school football team. In 2001, he set the single season Barracudas' record with seventeen touchdowns.
Baker received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Ron Zook's Florida Gators football team from 2003 to 2006. He originally signed to play for the Gators in February 2001 as a member of what would become coach Steve Spurrier's final recruiting class at Florida, but due to NCAA academic eligibility issues, Baker instead enrolled at Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite preparatory school in Massachusetts, for one year. While at Mt. Hermon, Baker helped lead his team to the New England Championship game. After Spurrier left Florida for the NFL and Zook was hired to replace him, Baker stuck with Florida and enrolled as a partial-qualifier in 2002.
Urban Meyer's hiring at Florida three seasons later marked a turning point in Baker's career at Florida. In 2005, he made fifty-six receptions, doubling his total from the previous season. Afterward, Baker's college grades were good enough to earn back the year of eligibility lost to the partial qualification.
As a senior team captain in 2006, Baker delivered career highs for receptions (60), receiving yards (920), and receiving touchdowns (10), and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection. Baker's 25-yard touchdown catch provided the winning margin in the Gators' 21–14 victory over the rival Florida State Seminoles. The following week, the Gators defeated Arkansas to win the SEC Championship Game for the first time in six years. The Gators would go on to rout the heavily favored Ohio State Buckeyes and capture college football's national championship, with Baker catching a touchdown pass for Gators' first score in their 41–14 victory in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Throughout his college career, the college football analysts on ESPN called him "Dallas Baker, Touchdown Maker," hearkening back to his nickname from his New Smyrna Beach High School days.
He graduated from the University of Florida in December 2006 with a bachelor's degree in health and human performance.
The Pittsburgh Steelers chose Baker in the seventh round (227th pick overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, and he played for the Steelers from 2007 to 2009. He was cut by the Steelers on September 1, 2007, but quickly re-joined the organization as a member of the practice squad on September 2.
Baker made the Steelers' 53-man roster out of training camp in 2008. He played in eight games, recording one catch for six yards, before being waived on November 15 to make room for cornerback Roy Lewis; the Steelers' re-signed Baker to their practice squad on November 19.
Dallas Baker, nicknamed "touchdown maker", signed a future contract with the Steelers in February 2009. He was released in final cuts on September 5, 2009.
Baker joined the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League in the early part of the 2010 season, and making his AFL debut in the third game of the season against the Orlando Predators.
Baker is the nephew of Wes Chandler, who is a former All-American Gator wide receiver, NFL standout and professional football coach.
- 2006 Florida Gators football team
- Florida Gators
- List of Pittsburgh Steelers players
- List of Florida Gators football players
- List of University of Florida alumni
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2006 Roster, Dallas Baker. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 67, 88, 89, 95, 97, 100, 105, 116, 138, 141–142, 145, 151–152, 154, 176 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 2007 National Football League Draft. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- National Football League, Historical Players, Dallas Baker. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- Montreal Alouettes, The Team Roster, Dallas Baker. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.