WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - With a name like Duke you know you're going to be a good athlete. That's the case for Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian strongside defensive end Duke Lemmens. On a team that features possibly two or maybe three five-star candidates coaches call Lemmens the glue that holds the program together with his solid play.
Lemmens, who is 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, earned co-most valuable player honors on his team as a sophomore and now he's having a masterful junior season that should put him on the map as a solid Division-I prospect.
Through six games this season, Lemmens had 34 tackles and three sacks. He said playing at Oaks Christian with everybody gunning for them every week some times is tough.
"We get all the publicity, and we know every team we play if they beat us it makes their whole season," Lemmens said. "So every game we have to come to play hard. It's hard to stay focused some times because we're beating a lot of teams big and we know they're not that good, especially this year. But we have a lot of tough schedule next year and everything is gearing up for next year."
That's when Oaks Christian is hoping to make a run to even more national exposure by playing teams from all over the nation and having two games television by ESPN.
"This is the place to be if you want to play high school football," Lemmens said. "Coach gets us all known and these are the best coaches I've ever had. They've given me everything that I need to know to get to the next level."
Speaking of the next level, Lemmens said he does not have any scholarship offers at this point. He recently sent film off to Michigan, and he's also getting regular attention from Pac 10 teams like UCLA, USC, Oregon State, Arizona and many others.
"I want to play D-I football," he said.
"That's my goal in life. There are lots of colleges interested, but I don't have any rides yet. I sent film to Michigan last week, and I can't wait to see what they say about it.
"But 10 years from now, I'm going to have a nice pretty wife and some kids after I'm done with college. I'd love to be around football. I'd love to be a coach."