Eden Prarie's Grayson Levine was thinking about his future, and considering several FCS offers, along with one Eastern Michigan. He thought he was going to Northern Iowa, but new Minnesota coach Jerry Kill gave him the chance of a lifetime.
"They first offered on Sunday and I committed pretty much on the spot," the 6'0, 190-lb senior safety said. "I met with Coach Kill earlier that day and he said he wanted to offer, but he wanted to be professional about it and make sure the DB's coach felt comfortable with it."
The new Gopher staff certainly did their research before extending this offer. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys went to one of Levine's basketball games before inviting him up on the official visit. He even put Levine to some X's and O's tests, which he passed with flying colors.
Not only did that help him earn a scholarship, but it could go a long way in him seeing the field early, possibly as soon as next year.
"Safety's what they're talking about. Special teams too. Punt, kickoff, maybe returns; I love doing that. They're talking about playing early. They might not red-shirt me. They just want to make sure I'm ready, physically, but they want someone back there to make sure everyone knows where to go. Coach Claeys drew up a bunch of formations and had me align the defense. He was pretty impressed, so hopefully I can play a little next year, get in the rotation."
Levine admits it's hard to even go to school these days thinking about where he'll be this time next fall. Even in the midst of the holidays and a basketball season, his mind is firmly on the future.
"This is great. After waiting around, I didn't think this would happen. It's really surprising and surreal. I'm still on clould nine right now. I'm going to be playing Big Ten big time football and getting to stay in-state. I love Minnesota, so everything just worked out."
As a senior, Levine had 47 tackles and three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.