Syracuse picked up some major help along the offensive line this week. Rivals caught up with the 6-foot-5, 317-pounder to see what made him choose the Orangemen.
"I just thought that was the school I wanted to go to, education, football and facilities were all for me," Auburn, N.Y. offensive tackle Nick Lepak said. "I actually talked to coach Robinson last Friday before the Washington game.
"He just told me that he was very happy that I made the commitment. He made me feel real good and his excitement got me excited. He let me know I'll be apart of something."
Certainly education played a big factor in Lepak's decision.
"When I went up there for the spring game," he said. "I got to sit down with a professor in the criminal justice program. She answered our questions about what they had to offer. That stood out in my decision."
Obviously football was an important factor too.
"I really like the coaching staff," he said. "They are all great guys and the players get along with them. The facilities they have really appeals to me too.
"In addition, the location definitely was big. It's always really good to know you'll have family nearby to support and see you."
The Syracuse coaches haven't talked much about playing time or when Lepak will see the field.
In the meantime, Lepak is keeping busy with the football season.
"We opened up last Friday and won," he said. "I'm really excited about this team. We've got a lot of good players coming back and should be able to give it a good run. Obviously after winning the state championship, we've got a target on us. I'm pumped with what's to come."
The No. 7 prospect in the Empire State has worked hard to make an even bigger impact this fall.
"I've definitely improved this year," he said. "I dropped about 35-pounds and am down to 317. I really worked my butt off and will keep doing it to get ready for college. Obviously I want to improve my footwork and my speed could be better. My stamina could always use some work too. I think I'm a solid pass blocker, but I could get better with it."