2012 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) running back Shaquille Powell recently landed two new scholarship offers. Vanderbilt and Arizona State were the latest to notice the junior who rushed for 1,292 yards on 135 carries and 17 touchdowns last season.
The two join NAU and Illinois in the list of programs that have extended offers to the 5-foot-10, 200-pound athlete.
The Vanderbilt offer came just a few days ago, and there's one thing in particular that's standing out to Powell about the program.
"What really got me are their academics because that's probably my number one thing," he admits. "I know not everybody makes it to the NFL, so I'd like to have a good degree to fall back on."
Powell plans to major in medicine, as he is aspiring to be a surgeon. He is planning to make a visit to Vanderbilt in the near future.
The running back's offer from ASU came one week ago.
"It was really unexpected," Powell admits. "Just one day he (ASU defensive coordinator Craig Bray) came to practice, I didn't even know he was there. He was watching, he liked what he saw and he called me up a couple hours later to offer me."
"He just told me that he would like me to play for the team and that they use multiple running-backs and they like to use a lot of different running backs," shares Powell. "He said I would fit in perfectly there and have a good chance to start early."
Powell can see himself fitting in as well. He's intrigued by what Bray and ASU have to offer.
"I thought it was a pretty nice pitch," he reveals. "Early playing time is really not a big thing for me, I want to get stronger and bigger, playing on that type of level; but it's always good. I know that ASU has a really nice campus and is a big party town. It's nice because it's part of the PAC-12 and it's close to where I live, so my family can come to support. "
Early playing time might not be crucial for the talented running-back, but the structure and personality of the team is.
"I just like to have a lot of team unity," Powell explains. "I like to have leaders on the team that are going to push young guys coming in and have them perform at high levels. I don't really like a lot of self-centered player. I've had them on my team before and those teams usually don't go as far they want to."
It's the visits that Powell feels will help him determine whether or not he can see himself fitting in to a particular program, and he's not waiting long to determine his compatibility with ASU. Powell is planning a visit to Tempe to take place in the next three to four weeks.
"I really just want to meet all the coaches," he says. "I know people who go there and they tell me they love it, so I just want to meet the coaches and see what they're like. If I'm going to be playing with them for the next four years, I want to like the coaches that I'm going to be working with."
Former classmates and friends of his that are current Sun Devils are doing their best to assist in Powell's recruitment
"They don't play football but they're in frats and stuff," Powell says of his friends in Tempe. "They tell me how it is and they try to sell me some pitches too so I go there."
Former ASU cornerback Josh Jordan has also played a role.
"He says he really likes it too," Powell shares. "He's a Gorman alum, so he came down to some practices and I met him. We just talk."
The prospect out of Las Vegas reveals the other four schools that are among his current leaders and gives a statement about what it is that attracts him to each one.
USC: "Definitely the tradition. A lot of great players have played there and I want be a part of it. I want to be one of those great players.
UCLA: "I love it over there. I went to their spring game and it was great. I think that's the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. I love being around it, right by the beach. It's a good place to be too and I know their academics are phenomenal. Their medical program is great."
Nebraska: "They're a top notch school, I like it. They want me for defense and they have a great defensive coordinator. I wouldn't mind playing for that team any day and get that exposure."
Notre Dame: "Obviously they have a great tradition. They have fantastic fan support and I love fan support. I also kind of have a feel for it because Notre Dame is a Catholic school."
Powell credits his excellent balance and the ability to break tackles and cut through defenses as his greatest strengths. His speed is something he claims he's always working on.
The prospect who reports a 3.0 GPA is hoping to make a college decision by this October.