There has already been seven players from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian and standout defensive end Duke Lemmens could soon become No. 8. Lemmens visited Cal this past weekend and will take his last official visit this coming weekend to Florida with a decision to likely come soon after.
Lemmens, 6-5, 240 pounds is a talented lineman on both sides of the ball but will play defense at the next level. Just how good is Lemmens as a two way lineman.
"I've been coaching for 19 years, Duke is the best two way lineman I've ever had," Oaks coach Bill Redell said. "Now I've had better offensive linemen and better defensive linemen, but as a two way player, Duke is the best. He has good size with a great frame and is incredibly athletic. He went to Florida's camp and ran back to back 4.55s in the 40. I didn't believe it when he told me so I actually called the staff myself and they confirmed it for me. That's fast for a defensive end, shoot that's fast for a running back."
Lemmens took official visits back in September to Oregon and Texas A&M and was in Berkeley this past weekend.
"Man, I had a great visit," Lemmens said. "I took an unofficial visit there in the summer so I has already seen a lot of the campus but I still learned a lot and had a very good time. I got in there early Saturday and we headed over to the hotel. We stayed at the Claremont which is one of the nicest hotels I've ever seen and I met with the coaches there.
I took a small campus tour, talked to some of the academic advisers and watched the team prepare for the game. I was with the defensive lineman and it was pretty interesting what they do. Coach Delgado brings in a yoga instructor and the linemen do a lot of extra stretching for their flexibility. Then it was time to head over to the stadium so all the recruits drove over on the same bus with the players.
"It was cool walking in to the stadium and seeing how excited the crowd was. They had a lot of famous alumni there and I they're not allowed to talk to me but someone would point over and say something like, 'that guy over owns Levi jeans,' and things like that. I was down on the field and got to talk to the lead singer of Counting Crowns. He really knew his stuff and even though I never really listened to their music, it was just cool seeing a guy like that down on the field.
"The game itself was pretty exciting and when I watch a game, I'm always looking at the defensive ends. I like to watch the style of play the defense runs and how the ends are used. Cal lets their guys get up the field and I think I would fit in very well with that kind of defense. After the game, I met my player host, Mike Castanzo, and a bunch of us went out and saw what Berkeley is all about.
"Overall, it was a great trip and I really got along with all the players on the team. Everyone there is so humble and laid back. I met Desean Jackson because he was Donovan Warren's host and I hung out with Donovan the whole time. Desean is a star but you would never know it because he doesn't come across as cocky or arrogant at all. I also love the academics at Cal and the location as well. Basically, everything was good and it's going to be a tough decision for me for sure."
Lemmens will visit Florida this coming weekend and the Gators have been the team to beat for some time.
"Yeah, Florida really has a special place in my heart," Lemmens said. "I went there twice in the summer and just fell in love with the place. Of all the schools on my list, Florida is obviously the farthest away and that is definitely a big issue for my parents. If Florida was closer to home, I would probably already be committed there, that's how much I like it.
"My dad is coming with me on the trip this time though and I think he's going to really be impressed with it. Florida is playing South Carolina and you really can't beat the excitement and the energy of the SEC. Florida is just such a great place and I really hope my dad enjoys the visit because that school is definitely special to me.
"This will be my last visit and I should be ready to decide when I get back. All the schools I visited were incredible. At A&M, you had the incredible tradition with the crowd and the whole 12th man thing. Oregon was just so thrilling because I was there for the Oklahoma game and you really can't beat that kind of emotion. All the schools have great coaching staffs who care about you as much as a person as well as a player so I'm looking forward to this last visit and then it will be decision time."