June 17, 2009

Does five-star DE hope to see UT?

As if his reputation as among the nation's most-coveted defensive line prospects wasn't already considerable, Ronald Powell did nothing but further enhance his stock according to reports from Florida's camp Tuesday.

But the five-star defensive end and top 15 prospect, who has an offer list rivaled only by his prodigious junior-season stats that included 13 sacks and six touchdowns, maintains he still has interest in Tennessee after speaking to VolQuest.com from Florida's camp.

"I'm trying to" visit Tennessee, he said. "That's my goal."

A 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pounder from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, Powell reportedly has named the Gators and Southern Cal as frontrunners for his services, but he's in no rush to choose a school.

"I'm expecting it to go as long as it takes to come up with a decision," he said.

In the meantime, Powell also will attend USC's Rising Stars camp in the near future and continue to speak with University of Tennessee assistant James Cregg. The Volunteers' tight ends and tackles coach is Powell's primary recruiter, and Powell says they've developed a good rapport.

"He's pretty cool. I talk to him every now and then," Powell said of Cregg. "I'll give him a call. It's a pretty cool relationship."

So what is Powell seeking in his college search?

"The coaching staff, some coaches I get along with and can get work done with," said Powell, who tallied 61 total tackles last year and also proved versatile enough to be an offensive threat when called upon. "The team, how good they are to win championships. And where I can get an education. That's pretty much it. Somewhere that can bring the best out of me."

Despite his stature as the No. 2 strongside defensive end and No. 12 overall player according to Rivals.com, Powell doesn't cite immediate playing time or a thin depth chart as key factors in his decision-making process.

"That (early playing time) is not that important," he said. "Everybody's got to work for something."

And Powell intends to continue working on his total game, the strengths of which he believes provides him plenty of versatility.

"I'm fast, can close down on edge and not get beat around the edge," Powell said of his game. "Rushing the passer. And my ability to play anywhere on the field."

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