Mitch Lederman Commits to Duke

As anyone who follows Duke football will tell you, the key to the class of 2006's recruiting was bolstering the offensive line. After hosting Wisconsin OL Mitch Lederman last week on an unofficial visit, the Blue Devils got some good news Monday night as the 6-foot-8, 325lbs tackle committed. TDD caught up with the newest Blue Devil soon after he made his call.

"I haven't had a chance to call Coach Roof yet," said Mitchell Lederman. "But I did have a chance to speak to Coach Yano tonight and told him that I was going to be a Blue Devil. I think he was really excited."

That's probably an understatement as Lederman becomes the second offensive lineman to commit to Coach Roof's program, joining Florida prospect Jarrod Holt. With Holt's size factored in, the two newest Blue Devils average just over 6-foot-6 and around 315 pounds each.

After seeing his stock rise dramatically in the last year, Lederman began feeling the heat of the recruiting process with interest from several teams including Ball State, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Illinois State and Youngstown State. He was planning to attend camps at Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Duke and Western Michigan this summer.

Though he's still learning the game, Brodhead-Juda head coach Jim Matthys says the future Blue Devil is going to be among the best prospects in the state.

"His size is what makes him an elite prospect right now," said Matthys. "He's also a great team leader and has a big work ethic. I think his senior season is going to be when he really finds out just how good he can be. He's played with elite players for two years now (Iowa bound TE A.J. Curtis and Northern Illinois recruit Kevin Skatrud), so now we'll see how he does as a senior."

All that promise and potential wrapped up into a big frame, and yet he still hadn't gotten the kind of attention he had hoped for from the hometown Badgers.

"I am not sure what the deal was there," said Lederman. "Basically I'm not worried about it. If they really wanted me then they would have worked harder. The bottom line is I am happy with my decision, and it won't change."

And just what was it about the Blue Devils' pitch that won over this big time lineman?

"It's just a beautiful campus and the weather is a bit warmer that it is up here. Also the coaches were very upfront and honest with me the entire time. Plus, a Duke degree is pretty tough to pass up."

And on the field?

"People say Duke hasn't been successful in years past, but those people don't know how hard the coaches are working. When you look at the kind of players they've gotten since Coach Roof took over, you can see that things are definitely going to change down there, and quick. I'm just excited to be part of it."

A very big part of it, indeed.


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