Duke In the Mix For 3-Star OL

The only two schools that Laken Tomlinson has already visited are Illinois and Northwestern. The Illini are only about three hours away, but he insists distance won't be a factor. "Illinois was my first offer," Tomlinson said. "I'm probably the most familiar with them which is why they could be a slight favorite. The coaches are great and we have a good relationship. They see me as being a..."

Laken Tomlinson, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound three-star offensive guard/tackle from Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Ill., says he has around 20 scholarship offers and plans on taking visits during the summer before he narrows it down to a solid five.

"I'd like to narrow it down by the end of summer," Tomlinson said. "I'm visiting a bunch of schools over the summer and once I see those I should be able to announce a top five. I probably won't wait until the end. I'll probably commit during the season."

Although Tomlinson remains very open, he also admits now favoring Illinois slightly over Northwestern, Duke, Ohio State and Michigan State. All of his favorites have offered as well as Purdue, Indiana, Arizona and New Mexico, among others.

"I'm trying to evaluate each college and give them a fair shot," he said.

The only two schools that Tomlinson has already visited are Illinois and Northwestern. The Illini are only about three hours away, but he insists distance won't be a factor.

"Illinois was my first offer," he said. "I'm probably the most familiar with them which is why they could be a slight favorite. The coaches are great and we have a good relationship. They see me as being a cornerstone for the 2010 team."

Tomlinson attended the Northwestern Junior Day. "It's pretty sweet over there," he said. "It was a fun time. I like the campus and the environment a lot. It's a great place."

Tomlinson will be visiting the Wildcats again on June 14.

On June 19, Tomlinson will be visiting Duke for the first time. "The thing that caught my eye about Duke was that they have a pretty good pre-med program," he said.

"I think Duke is still up-coming," he said. "They are working hard and I think they should do well next season. I've heard the facilities and everything are all new and really nice. I can't wait to check them out."

Tomlinson will also be visiting Ohio State and Michigan State during the summer, but doesn't have the exact dates yet.

"Ohio State is just a great program every year," he said. "I've talked with coach Jim Tressel a couple of times and I really like him. He's a good person overall and obviously he's a great coach.

"He's very sincere and says what he feels," he said

"Michigan State has been recruiting me for a long time," he said. "I know the program has been improving and I'm excited to go there and see what it's like."

Tomlinson, ranked as the No. 66 offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, says he never followed college football growing up. "I watched the NFL," he said. "And the Bears were my favorite team."

He says his parents don't have a preference either.

"I'll be looking for a great environment and someplace I fit in," he said. "The coaches are big too. I want to make sure they are good people and that I'll be able to develop more as a player.

"I'd like to play for a good program and a team that isn't on the downslide," he said.

Tomlinson also competes in the shot put (50') and discus (141'), but will likely stick with football in college.

He says he can bench 335-pounds, squat 595 and has a 21-inch vertical jump.

"I'm very physical while I play," he said. "I'm also very disciplined.

"I still want to improve my strength and be more dominant over opponents," he said.

Tomlinson plans a pre-med major and reports a 3.4 core GPA and will be taking the ACT on June 13.


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