Solid Bookends

There is not a better pair of teammate defensive ends around the nation than Mike Ebbitt and Duke Lemmens from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California. The two have almost 40 offers combined and the Buffs are squarely in the mix. The BSN caught up with the pair to get the latest on their recruitment. It appears that on Tuesday something big happened that has changed things.

Not since Kanavis McGhee and Alfred Williams, on the 1990 National Championship team, has Colorado had a pair of defensive ends that owned the field. The CU staff wants to return to the nation's elite and will once again need a strong defensive line to do so.

Enter Duke Lemmens and Mike Ebbitt. The two keep garnering huge offer after huge offer. The latest school to join the ranks appears to be Miami. "I got a big offer today," Ebbitt explained. "Miami sent me a text message telling me I had an offer and then I spoke with them. They said I could speak with Coach Coker tomorrow about it. They said it will be in the mail."

"Miami called me earlier tonight but I missed it," explained Lemmens. "I know they called and offered Mike so I believe they are on the way with an offer for me, too. I'll find out soon enough."

Both players have been on many unofficial visits, not always together, but to many of the same schools. Ebbitt has been to Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State and Texas A&M. Lemmens has been to all those schools, minus Colorado, plus Florida and Georgia Tech. Lemmens will be making a trip to Colorado soon. "They are my next unofficial trip. It will be sometime in June. My mom is a flight attendant so it makes it easy to fly whenever. I will talk to the Colorado coaches and figure out what the best weekend is for me to come out next month."

Ebbitt visited Boulder a couple weekends ago and came away with the Buffs as his leader, but that has now changed. "Colorado is number two or three on my list now after the Miami offer," the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder declared. "I'd say A&M is number one. I really like the academic support and facilities there better. Plus, I have my brother there."

He plans on attending A&M's camp this summer and is unsure if he will be attending the Florida camp like he planned before. Lemmens will still make the Gators' camp in June. He may also make the A&M camp with Ebbitt.

With Tuesday's happenings, both now plan on taking an unofficial visit to Miami this summer, as well.

The two insist that going to the same school is still their intention. "It is not a 100 percent sure-thing," said the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Lemmens, "but it is something we both want."

Ebbitt's top three is A&M, CU and Miami. Lemmens has a top four of A&M, Florida, Colorado, and Arizona. However, if Miami indeed offers Lemmens, like expected, you can expect them to climb into his top four.

He breaks down what he likes in the schools. "They are all pretty even. I loved going to the swamp to visit Florida. They have great coaches and I loved the atmosphere. People on the west coast like football, but it is a religion down there. The craziness of the fans in that town really stood out to me. I am not so sure how much my dad likes the thought of Florida. He thinks it could be too far. Another thing with them is I am not afraid to compete, but they will have great talent and will recruit great talent so I may have to wait longer to play there. It is also a little tough that there are no direct flights from L.A. to Gainesville.

"A&M seems really sincere in their recruitment of me. I feel like them and Florida are really showing they want me the most right now. They seem like they want me there and I really like their defensive line coach. I want to see how they start out the season. I am going to wait until after a few games to make my decision because I know A&M has not been real great the last couple years so I want to see what they can do this fall.

"I love how Coach Stoops at Arizona is a defensive guy. I am all about defense even though I'll be protecting Jimmy Clausen's backside this fall at left tackle. Defense is where it's at for me. I think Arizona is on the rise but they need to turn it around soon. This will be their third year under Stoops so hopefully they start winning more often.

"I think I could make an early impact at Colorado. I know they are short on defensive ends. That might be the best chance I have for competing really early. People tell me Boulder is the most beautiful town in the country so I am excited to visit there. I really think Coach Hawkins could turn it around and he seems like the kind of coach I can work with. I also like Coach (Romeo) Bandison. He thinks I can be a force there."

The third part of the Oaks Christian equation is safety Marshall Jones. He was also thinking of attending the same school as his defensive end teammates, but according to Lemmens, that may be a long shot now that the Trojans have offered. "Mike and I would love to take him with us, but USC just offered and he has always been a fan of them, so it will be interesting to see what he does."

Therefore, the only schools to officially offer all three are Colorado, Arizona and Oregon. "Oregon has kind of fallen off. They are not showing us as much attention as they used to."

Whichever team lands these two, if it is indeed the same team, they will be landing two of the finest players in the nation.

The Buffalo Sports News will stay on top of the latest developments with the blue chip defensive ends from Oaks Christian. Colorado fans are on pins and needles hoping the staff can land this pair. It would be a monumental step in leading the Golden Buffaloes back to the promised-land.

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