Commitment Profile: Levi Michael

One of North Carolina's top commitments will be arriving at UNC long before his peers. Levi Michael, a 5-10 middle infielder at Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson, will be joining the Tar Heel team in a few months.

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Davidson, ranked at No. 62 in Perfect Game's national Top 100 prospects, will be graduating high school following the current fall semester and be on UNC's roster for the start of the 2009 season.

"I have always been a Carolina fan and that played a major part of why I decided to go to North Carolina," Michael said. "The first time they were interested in me was about a year ago and I only went on two visits - one to South Carolina and one to North Carolina - and that was all I needed to see because in my heart I wanted to be a Tar Heel."

Scouts have raved about Michael's speed on the basepaths, where he has been timed as low as 6.48 in the 60-yard dash. Scout have also observed his smooth fielding, quick release and line drive power in the batter's box. He batted over .500 last season while hitting 11 home runs and 12 doubles for North Davidson.

His summer team coach – Andy Partin of the Dirtbags – says Michael is one of the best all-around players he's had in his prestigious program.

"Levi is probably the most of the total package that we have ever had [with the Dirtbags]," Partin said. "He is a playmaker at shortstop. He always seems to be in the right position and the way he runs the bases is super. Offensively he has really made himself a great switch hitter and now is dangerous from both sides of the plate. He is always prepared and on time."

Michael is fulfilling his final English requirement this fall and will be eligible to graduate early from high school with the successful completion of his course work this semester. It's a unique opportunity that Michael didn't want to pass up.

"Coach Fox presented me with the opportunity to come early... obviously he had some reasons why for me to enroll early with the draft losing quite a few middle infielders and felt that I was ready and mature enough to enroll early," Michael said.

"There was a lot involved in that having to go through my school system and having everybody to approve it - Carolina had to do a lot to have me enroll early... It was something I wanted to do and was a good decision to come early."

The decision eliminates the possibility of entering the Major League Draft straight from high school, but Michael sees his route as the better path to the professional ranks.

"It was not a very difficult decision for me because of several factors - one being by going to school and getting my education was more valuable than going to the draft early," he said. "Also by enrolling early I can graduate early and it can help me mature more and ultimately I think I will be ready [for professional baseball] by enrolling and going to school at UNC rather than going pro straight out of high school."

Make no mistake, Michael doesn't plan to watch from the sidelines. He is arriving early in order to play a role in the 2009 Tar Heel team's success.

"My goal is to step in and help the team in any way they need - help fulfill any open areas for the team and make a positive impact on the team," he said. "I am excited and looking forward to playing in Chapel Hill and going back to Omaha."

North Davidson coach Mike Meadows has witnessed plenty of examples of why he thinks Michael will be able to make an immediate impact at the college level.

"I have seen him do some miraculous things," Meadows said. "When he faced Madison Bumgardner as a tenth grader, he steps up and hit a home run. Then when he hits a jack off of Jimmy Messer as a sophomore … I have seen him do some great things. I think he will do really well at UNC."

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