Palatka (Fla.) outside linebacker Leroy Owens had been decommitted to Syracuse since late July, but that all changed after a weekend visit elsewhere.
"I decommitted from Syracuse tonight," Owens said.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound linebacker took a trip to Florida International this past weekend that made him think twice about his future home.
"I sat down with my family and talked about everything," Owens said. "We decided that (Syracuse) wasn't the place for me for the next four years. We decided that the options to stay closer to home were better."
The three-star defender indicated that he has switched his commitment to Florida International.
"I like that it is close to home," Owens said of the Golden Panthers. "I also like my position, where I am going to be playing at and how they are going to be using me at my position. I like their program, academic-wise, it is a good program. They set up players to be successful, get their work done and graduate."
Florida International has recruited Owens for many months. He credited the bond and trust he has built with Jeff Popovich as being crucial in his decision to switch.
"I've been dealing with Coach Popovich," Owens said. "He showed me the roster and showed me where I would be. He wasn't like other college coaches telling me I was going to start, he told me that I would have a chance to compete at the position to start. I liked that. I felt like he was honest with me.
"He just told me that if I work hard, I can be really successful," Owens added.
Owens expects to begin his college career at either weakside or middle linebacker.