Football Coaches Interested In Lemon-Aid

This talented two-way player from the Peach State is a sleeper no more as teams have started visiting a small high school in Macon, Ga.

Macon, Ga.--Much the same way former Stratford Academy standout Le Kevin Smith burst onto the scene the summer before his senior season in high school, currently one of the hottest players in Georgia for the Class of 2006 is defensive end/tight end Michael Lemon from Straford.

One of the most physically gifted players in the state, Lemon had been a virtual unknown until this spring when visiting coaches found the true definition of a "diamond in the rough."

A 6-4, 255 athlete who can play on either side of the ball, Lemon was a dominant force for Stratford last season as a junior and earned All-State honors on offense. With 4.8 speed in the 40-yard dash and the strength to come off of blocks, he's a natural at defensive end, but his hands and footwork make him a top tight end prospect as well. That combination has the Auburn Tigers and schools from all over lining up to make him an offer.

"I'm hearing from Georgia, LSU, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and also Auburn," Lemon tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I have offers from all those schools. At the moment I don't have a favorite. I've never had a football influence college-wise growing up so I have been open to everything. I'll be looking at everyone.

"I think that will help me some because I can go through it (the recruiting process) with an open mind," Lemon adds. "Some people might already be leaning towards a program. I do have people pretty close in my life that have their favorite schools, but I'm not really listening to what other people have to say. It's my decision and I have to go there. I'm very open and I'm checking on all the different schools to see what they have to offer."

Because of that Lemon says his camp plans are still very much up in the air. While he knows he wants to attend summer camps at several schools, he hasn't decided which select programs will get a visit over the next two months.

"I'm going to some camps this summer," Lemon says. "I'm just not too sure about which ones in particular I'm going to. I'm going to sit down after I get done with exams with my coach and we're going to pick some out."

Soon to be a four-year starter, Lemon started at fullback as a freshman and has started at both tight end and defensive end the last two seasons. He was a main component as the Eagles won the GISA AAA State Championship last season and says that he feels like his size and speed are his main strengths as a player.

"I can chase the ball pretty good," Lemon says. "I try not to take too much time with blockers. Since I play tight end and fullback I have had to block and I feel like I have a feel when somebody comes to block me, whether it be a reach block or zone block, I can see that. I know which blocks that I have to make and the easiest way to get off that type of block."

Lemon also plays basketball and throws the discus for the Eagles during track season. Playing both power forward and center as a junior Lemon averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game to earn All-Conference honors. His best throw in the discuss is 146 feet.

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