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August 31, 2006Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive end Duke Lemmens was active on the summer unofficial visit circuit, having personally visited each of his top four choices. Now the 6-foot-5, 238-pound end is in the process of setting official visits.
After returning home from a July trip to the Sunshine State where he visited both Miami and Florida, it was Lemmens intention to unofficially visit Oregon, Washington and Colorado in the month of August.
"I ended up only taking one of the three; I went to a preview day at Oregon. There were only ten of us tops up there. We got to meet the staff and see their facilities. All that money Nike spent is insane. They expressed to me their need for defensive ends; I saw the depth chart. For west coast football, that's as insane as it gets as far as game day visits."
He will get an opportunity to take in a game day next month.
"My first official visit is set," said Lemmens. "I'm going to Oregon for the Oklahoma game. I'm set up to go to Florida when they play South Carolina. I've talked to coach (Greg) Mattison and (Urban) Meyer and they want me there for that game."
Those two make up half of his list of favorites.
"I definitely have a top four. It's been changing as I've been going on these visits and coming home and thinking about it. Right now it's Florida, Texas A&M, Cal and Oregon.
"Florida is probably my favorite. That's because I've been there twice and that's the coaching staff I'm the most familiar with. The one negative to them is that they are the hardest one for my family to go to. The other three I would lump together in second place."
As he has stated in past interviews, Lemmens' family, his father in particular, wouldn't mind seeing him sign with a program close to their California base.
According to Lemmens, that hasn't changed.
"My dad is still very west coast bias. I'm hoping to get him out to see Florida and Texas A&M to get him more open to them. For his part, he's definitely excited about Oregon and Cal. It's still my decision, but I want my family to be happy with where I sign."
In July it sounded as though Lemmens was dead set on one of two colleges decidedly not on the left coast. Now he sounds more open to the possibility of staying closer to home.
"I'm still in love with the football atmosphere at Florida and Texas A&M. Football there is worshipped. It's completely different than it is on the west coast. But, I am more open to staying close to home to make it easier for my family and friends.
"After all my officials, I'll make a commitment."
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