Academics key for Levine

Defensive end Dana Levine discusses his commitment to Syracuse with

Hallandale (Fla.) High defensive end Dana Levine became the fifth Florida prospect to commit to Syracuse as part of their 2015 class. As was the case with the previous four, Levine has not seen the campus in person. That fact did not step him for pledging Orange on Thursday.

"I was just thinking about it and they have really good academics," Levine said. "Even if football doesn't work out, I'll still be able to get a good job. It's close to Philly which is where I'm from. I have family there and it's only four hours away. I also have family in New York. I'll be able to be close to my family."

When Syracuse offered, it was the combination of academics and athletics that stood out to Levine. He was extremely excited about the potential opportunity in Central New York, and decided he could not pass that up after taking some time to evaluate his recruitment.

Once his decision was made, it was time to inform his recruiter at Syracuse, offensive coordinator George McDonald.

"I called coach McDonald on the phone," Levine said. "They were really happy that I committed because that was the first person that's committed from Hallandale. And they were looking for a speed rusher like me."

The relationship between McDonald and the 230-pound defensive end was another key part in his decision.

"The relationship is good," Levine said. "I already feel like I'm part of the Syracuse family. It'll be easier for me to go up there and fit in. That way I can just go there, ball out and give it my all.

"I'm just trying to be the first person from my family to go straight to college out of high school. I want to go up there and do something special."

Despite his commitment, Levine is not shutting out other schools just yet.

"I'm still going to talk to other schools for now," Levine said. "By summertime I'll know for sure and I'll just cut it off and focus on Syracuse then."

Levine plans to visit the Orange "as soon as possible" after his junior year wraps up.

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