"I think I have been to the Auburn campus at least 12 times," says Jerrell Powe, who was a frequent visitor over the summer and for Tiger home football games this fall. "Even though I have been there a lot and it won't be anything new to me, I am looking forward to the visit. I think I was there for at least five games this season, including the LSU and Georgia games."
Powe, a 6-3, 322-pound senior from Wayne County High School, says that Auburn defensive line coach Don Dunn, who has been his main recruiter, was in Waynesville on Tuesday to meet with the big lineman to go over details of his upcoming official visit.
"I like Coach Dunn," Powe tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "He is a straight up guy. I believe in his word."
The star defensive lineman and the Auburn coach discussed Powe's academic situation. Currently, Powe needs to make improvements to be an academic qualifier. "I am just working day by day, harder and harder, to try to qualify," Powe says.
If that doesn't happen, Powe could be headed for a junior college start. Prep school would be a possibility if he ends up just missing academically, but a junior college start would be more likely, Powe says. "If I don't qualify I will probably end up going to Butler." Butler County Community College is a junior college football power in Kansas that has sent players to Auburn such as SEC Player of the Year Rudi Johnson.
In addition to Auburn, Powe is also considering visits LSU, Oklahoma State and the Ole Miss Rebels, a team currently without a head coach. He says those visits would come in January and notes that Texas A&M and Nebraska are two other colleges he may consider visiting.
In the past, he played basketball, but he is not doing that this season. The lineman is currently working out in the weight room and training for powerlifting competition. "In the bench I am doing 355, in the squat 555 and 610 pounds on the dead lift," he says.
Two of his former teammates at Wayne County High are redshirting as freshmen at Auburn this year--safety Steve Gandy and running back Mike McLaughlin. "With Steve and Mike being over there, I wouldn't mind playing with them at Auburn, but I have to go where I feel comfortable," Powe says. "I have got to go to a place that is best for me. "
Powe, who played noseguard in a 3-4 defense, says he was disappointed that his Wayne County High team was unable to defend its state title. "Our goal was to a win third state championship so we fell short of that," he says. "That was the main goal for the season."
He says that his best game as a senior came against Salmen High from Louisiana when he had nine tackles, including two sacks. In 12 games Powe he made 75 tackles, seven sacks and recovered two fumbles to earn All-Area and All-District honors for a third straight season. He is also expected to repeat as an All-State selection when that team is announced.
Powe, who says he is interested in taking classes in college that will help him become a coach or a landscape designer, notes that that he isn't sure if he will be a noseguard or tackle at the next level. As a player for Wayne County, he says he tried to play hard and fit in to the team defensive scheme. "Staying in the gaps, taking care of your lane and try to get to the ball as quickly as possible and then end the play are the important things when playing noseguard in the 3-4," he says. "That is what I tried to do"