Sept. 9, 2017

by Allegra Zamore

If there is one thing Andre Levrone has learned during his time at Virginia, it is that he can be the captain of his own ship. The senior has spent the last five years challenging himself on and off the field in order to create his path to success, no matter what might gets in his way.

“I think I have really matured as a man over the last few years,” Levrone said. “Having gone through adversity in different ways like injuries, academics and even just balancing my schedule – all of that has helped me to understand that more things are in my control. The harder I work and the more time that I put in, the harder it is to deny me from what I want to accomplish.”

The wide receiver attributes his first touchdown in his collegiate debut, and one of his favorite memories at UVA, to the hard work he put in during that year’s offseason. He often spent late nights and early mornings on the field and in the weight room, taking advantage of his health and drive.

“I have always been a hard worker, but that offseason I really knew what I wanted,” Levrone said. “I made some big plays against a big opponent and I didn’t have to say anything, my plays spoke for themselves.”

This hard work and dedication is something that has been instilled in Levrone ever since he started playing football at the age of five in his hometown of Laurel, Md.

“My grandfather played back in college and my dad played while he was in the Marine Corps,” Levrone said. “My dad wanted to get me into organized sports at a young age and he has watched me grow and come into myself through football in the last few years.”

Levrone speaks with his mother and father on a daily basis and credits their motivational and inspiring spirits for getting him to where he is today.

“My dad is someone I respect more than anyone on this earth,” Levrone said. “To see the things he has been able to accomplish in his life after coming from such humble beginnings makes me want to continue to work hard. A lot of people say they don’t want to let someone down, but it isn’t even that type of pressure for me, it’s just something within me that I see.”

Levrone looks to his father, who entered the Marine Corps straight out of high school and proceeded to own a small business for the last 30 years, and has begun preparing for his future in hopes to some day provide for his family like his father has done for him.

“I want to go into marketing analytics,” Levrone said. “I think that my degree in media studies brings me a different entry point to marketing than someone with a regular business degree. I am currently taking graduate school classes in the Curry School and I really like integrating those classes with media studies, it offers me a great perspective.”

Levrone has completed internships with Whiting Turner, a contracting company in Baltimore, as well as the Virginia Athletics Foundation to gain experience and challenge himself in different settings. There is still another dream that Levrone holds on to in case the opportunity arises.

“I would love to go into broadcasting if my career permitted that,” Levrone said. “I’ve been watching SportsCenter on ESPN ever since I was a little kid, so something like that would be a dream come true.”

Something else Levrone has added to his list of activities off the field is leading bible studies for the team with fellow senior Daniel Hamm.

“Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall backs us a lot with the bible studies because he truly believes that the development of a person is a four-part process – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual,” Levrone said. “He usually puts spiritual first in that list, so it has become an important part of my life and it’s great to be able to spread that message to my teammates as well.”

The leadership and consistency that have come from Mendenhall and his staff is something that Levrone credits to the improved dynamic of their team.

“Coach Mendenhall coming here is one of the greatest things that could have happened in my life and a lot of the guys on this team’s life,” Levrone said. “He loves challenges and I love challenges. There are a lot of guys who may not have loved challenges before that are starting to appreciate what you can learn from them.”

Levrone stresses the importance of having leadership in the right places and how crucial that is for creating a cohesive team where people are reaching their potential on and off the field, making positive changes in the community.

“The key is being consistent and working towards production in order to gain respect,” Levrone said. “A guy might not like you but they have to respect your product. If you’re a good man and you are doing things the right way, you will be respected in your role. You can control the outcome more times than you think.”

As he prepares for his last season with the Cavaliers, Levrone looks forward to making more memories with his teammates and continuing to grow as he creates his path for the future.

“When you come to the close it’s a bittersweet feeling,” Levrone said. “I have days where I am ready to experience new places and new opportunities, but this experience has been the greatest of my life. I have learned a lot in dealing with different types of people and levels of adversity. I will be prepared if and when it hits later in life, and that’s not something everyone can say.”