Devils In Early Lead For Garden State OT

The need for talented offensive linemen may very well be the defining theme for the recruiting class of 2011. To that end the Blue Devils are looking far and wide for talented players. One such player recently picked up another ACC offer, but maintains Duke is his leader.

"Maryland has offered me today," said Hazlet (N.J.) Raritan High standout Shane Mertz. "I've also got an offer from Duke, and they are probably my top choice at this point."

Of course the pair of ACC offers are more than likely a beginning for a line of scholarship offers. He's already hearing from schools such as Rutgers, Central Florida, and Northwestern on a regular basis and will be making the usual summer camp rounds as the summer continues. Stops at Boston College and Notre Dame are already confirmed, as is a likely stop in Durham.

It would be a second visit to Durham after he attended the Spring Game on March 27th. And, such a return trip will apparently have a lofty standard to live up to.

"The whole campus and atmosphere around Duke was beautiful. I really felt comfortable there with everything. I really like their coaching staff, and could see myself there."

Being the early leader in recruiting doesn't necessarily guarantee anything in the realm of commitments, and Mertz admits that once more offers start rolling in his decision will get a bit tougher.

"Duke is probably still No. 1 on my list right now, but Rutgers is catching up to them,'' Mertz previously told "Once they start recruiting me a lot, and I hear more stories, and how Rutgers has such a great program, it's going to be a hard decision. But right now it's between Duke and Rutgers, and they're both right up there.''

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