The Swamp Looms

Quickly becoming one of the hottest defensive ends in the country, Duke Lemmens (6-5, 240, 4.7), of Westlake Village (Calif.), is looking at written rides from such schools as Utah, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Duke, California and a verbal offer from Florida. Lemmens just added Texas A&M and San Diego State.

Duke Lemmens Profile

"A&M has been recruiting me for a while," Lemmens said. "Over spring break I went to check out the school. I never had been there, so I had no idea what to expect…I had never even heard of the 12th man before my trip. Once I got there, I was blown away. The campus is beautiful. The stadium is huge. Once I saw how big football was to the fans down there, I understood. It was impressive. When I got back, I received the offer in the mail. Coach (Stan) Eggen and I talk a lot."

Lemmens denies he has a single favorite anymore, but names six leaders. Oregon had led previously. "I still really love Oregon, but I'd have to add Cal, Florida, Colorado, Arizona and A&M to that list. Stanford is still on my list, but I haven't received an offer from them yet."

But, with a written offer from the Gators looming, the Oaks Christian High School defender said he is heading to Gainesville over Mother's Day weekend to get a taste of the Swamp. "I've never been to Florida before, so the first thing I want to find out is if I can stand the humidity. I want to get familiar with the town and the campus. I talked to Coach (Greg) Mattison on Tuesday and he's excited to get me down there. He told me that he definitely wants to see me. He said they already have three commits at defensive end, but they are all big guys, strong ends. He said that I'd play on the weak side, since I'm smaller.

"Florida is such a top-notch program; they're not a school that just will offer off tape. But Coach Coach Mattison said that I was their number one guy and he wants me back down there for camp in June. I can't wait to get out there and compete. My trip in two weeks is really going to help me decide if Florida will move up to number one when that written offer comes in.

"Colorado offered me a couple of weeks ago. Coach (Darian) Hagan also called me on Tuesday. He said they are looking forward to me coming to visit. I really love all the coaches there. I've talked to pretty much all of them…they are really funny, great guys. And with the new head coach from Boise State, the program is really on the rise and good things are going to happen there. I haven't been there yet, but I heard Boulder is a great town. I'm taking an official visit there for sure.

"I really love Arizona too," Lemmens said. "I took a visit down there with my teammate, Marshall Jones (safety), couple of weeks ago. I loved the whole atmosphere down there. Coach (Mike) Stoops is doing so much with that program, it's really great. I love their defense too. They play my style of game.

"Cal is looking really good too. I was shocked when I got the offer from them. I wasn't expecting it at all. My parents really want me to go there. I've never been to the campus, but I want to take a road trip up to Berkeley to check out the school and the facilities. As far as academics go, I'd love to go to Cal…a degree from there is priceless."

Lemmens said Oregon still is close to the top of his list. "I still really love everything about Oregon. The coaching staff is great and the facilities are amazing. The thing I really like is that a lot of my teammates have offers from Oregon and that would be really cool if we all went there.

"I just want to visit as many schools as possible before I start narrowing it down," he said. "I know I want to take officials to Colorado, Arizona and A&M for sure right now. I should know more after I get back from Florida in two weeks."

Lemmens reports a 3.5 core GPA and is awaiting April ACT results.

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