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LI's Dan Villari leaves Michigan football program to play for Syracuse

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Dan Villari during warm-ups prior

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Dan Villari during warm-ups prior to an NCAA football game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Nov.  21, 2020, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images/Icon Sportswire

Michigan quarterback Dan Villari announced late Tuesday that he will play his next college football game for Syracuse.

The 6-4, 230-pound quarterback is coming back home to New York, where he led Plainedge High School to the Long Island Class III title in 2019. Villari, considered a redshirt freshman with the additional year for the COVID exception, said he has four years of eligibility remaining.

Villari played a total of 26 plays during his two years with the Wolverines. He completed one of three passes for 26 yards. He entered the transfer portal only five days ago.

"There is a great opportunity for me to play right away at Syracuse University," Villari said. "The school just hired two of the coaches from the University of Virginia, who guided an offense that set ACC passing records. It’s where I want to play."

Syracuse recently hired Virginia offensive coodinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck to the same positions.

"I’m extremely excited to chase my dreams," Villari said from his home in Massapequa. "I loved Michigan and I’m thankful for the experience in Ann Arbor. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh told me if I didn’t find the right place, I could come back to Michigan, and he’d honor my scholarship. I love him for that. He’s a great guy."

Villari said the assistant coaches at Michigan were really helpful with the transfer and helping him find the right fit.

"They were tremendous in the process and Syracuse head coach [Dino] Babers offered me right away," he said. "I entered the portal a couple of days ago and didn’t really look at some of the other schools. There were a few right away but Syracuse felt right."

Villari, who earned the Thorp Award as Nassau’s top player, rushed for 1,505 yards and scored 25 touchdowns in his senior year at Plainedge. He also passed for 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns and led the Red Devils to a 12-0 record. He also earned the Snyder Award given to Nassau’s top quarterback and was named the 2019 New York State Class A co-player of the year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

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