April 13, 2009

Academics key for DE Lueders

Narrowing down a list is often a difficult task especially for someone like Zionsville, Ind., defensive end Blake Lueders, who has teams from across the country vying for his commitment.

But that is Lueders' goal over the next few months as he goes around to schools to watch spring practice. No leaders have emerged at this point but a clue can be gained on where the 6-foot-5, 240-pound recruit is seriously considering by finding out which colleges he'll see this spring.

So far, he's been to Notre Dame, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Trips are also planned for Stanford, Boston College and Northwestern.

"I would say those are six school are definitely the schools I'm seriously considering but not the only six I'm considering," Lueders said.

His latest offer is from Michigan which brings his total to 15. Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech are some others involved with Lueders, rated as the No. 210 prospect in the 2010 class by Rivals.com. He finished with 128 tackles and three sacks last season.

Since so many schools have offered, Lueders can be picky but he's generally looking for what every other prospect is looking for in a college - except he has the luxury of picking from more than a dozen programs.

"Academics and football, but just a place I feel comfortable with the coaches and players, guys I can get along with," Lueders said. "I want to, at the latest, decide before my senior season so sometime over the summer, just so there won't be a distraction during the season. I don't want a bunch of colleges calling me during my senior year."

Lueders said his favorite part about his Notre Dame trip was meeting with the players. He said the types of people the Irish recruit are ones he'd like to spend more time with. Coach Butch Davis and defensive line coach John Blake were the highlights of his trip to North Carolina.

"They know how to get guys in the NFL," Lueders said. "Coach Blake is one of the best d-line coaches in the country. I could tell that was true. He's a great guy and a great coach."

At Wake Forest, spending time with coach Jim Grobe and the players were the highlights plus Lueders said he enjoyed the atmosphere on campus. Lueders participated in a 1-day camp at Boston College last summer and although he hasn't spoken a lot with new coach Frank Spaziani, he has corresponded a lot with running backs coach Ben Sirmans.

The new offer from Michigan is big but Lueders said it does not change his focus all that much going forward in his recruitment. Still, it's another big-time offer to consider as Lueders tries to figure out what school is best.

"It hasn't changed my outlook on the other schools but it obviously throws them in the mix," Lueders said. "It's a late offer but I have to think about it. They're a big-named school and great academics. I definitely have to think about them."

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