"Duke's pretty high up there and I'd say they've got a slight lead right now," van der Wal said. "The education that I'd get there is hard to top. Plus I like how they're a rising program, and I think coach (David) Cutcliffe is doing some great things there. You also just can't beat an education from Duke. The only thing is that it's little far and I'm kind of a momma's boy, but part of the college experience is getting out there."
Scout.com's No. 12-ranked tight end also likes ASU.
"I love the coaching staff there," he said. "I've been around there a lot and actually took a vacation out there recently with some friends and stopped by to say hi. My dad also went there and I get a good feeling when I'm at ASU – they've got a great program."
Van der Wal also likes Minnesota's direction.
"I'm very personable and close with the coaches at Minnesota – I've got a great connection with them," he said. "I like how they're an up-and-coming program and how they're playing tougher opponents."
As far as Cal and UCLA go, the two Pac-10 schools want to see how van der Wal progresses before they offer, at least at the beginning of the season.
"I'm talking with their coaches a lot and they both want to see how I do in my first couple of games," he said. "They both haven't seen a lot of my blocking highlights at tight end, so they want to see me doing that before they make me an offer."
Van der Wal says he really has no preference on what position he plays in college.
"Duke's looking at me at tight end, ASU at defensive end, Minnesota wants me at both but they're leaving it up to me to decide, and UCLA and Cal are each looking at me at tight end," he said. "I have no preference and will be determining which one I really like the best in the first couple of games during the season. I love both really."
So far, van der Wal has set a date for an official visit to one school and plans on getting out to two more soon.
"I'll be at Minnesota on Sept. 18 when they play USC," he said. "I know I'll be getting out to Duke and ASU, but I don't have any dates for those two yet."
With size and speed, van der Wal feels he's ready to compete at the highest level of college ball.
"I've got good size, and I'm good at using my arms to create separation – that definitely helps on both offense and defense," he said. "I've also got some sure hands and my main goal this season is to not drop any balls. I think I do need to work on my speed and just get physically bigger. I've been working hard at that and just getting stronger and faster so that I'm the best that I can be now and when I play in college."
His other offers include Baylor, San Diego State and New Mexico State.
Oaks Christian opens its season against Alemany High School tomorrow, Sept. 3.
Van der Wal reports a 3.0 GPA and a 24 ACT.