SANTA ANA, Calif. -- After being christened ‘Beast Mode’ by California running backs coach Pierre Ingram the day he was offered by the Golden Bears, Cal commit Lonny Powell has embodied everything about the nickname, from playing running back like a linebacker (“Yeah, that’s what I do, pretty much. That’s what everybody tells me,” he says) to, yes, eating a certain candy before every game, just like Marshawn Lynch.
“I eat Skittles, before games, like he does, and then, it’s like, you can tell he’s just different,” says Powell, who doesn’t speak much to media or many other folks, for that matter, just like Lynch. “He stands out more, because he’s a little bit stronger, and he does a little bit more than everybody else, so that’s what I’m trying to be like.”
On Wednesday, Powell and defensive tackle Bryce English had a meeting of the minds during positional work, and the hit jarred Powell’s right arm to the point where he couldn’t feel his hand.
“I hit my funny bone. Just one of those,” says Powell, who sat out the first three series of team 11-on-11 work before making a huge splash with strong run after strong run in the fourth series, kicking things off with a big stiff-arm and then rumbling through contact and into the end zone to finish off the drive.
“I was just waiting to get a feel, trying to get my hand back and get the feeling back in my hand, and then I was just sitting, watching the plays, and taking my mental reps, and as soon as my hand came back, I just jumped right back in,” says Powell. “[The touchdown] was good. It felt fun. I finally got to hit somebody and just really enjoy myself. That’s what I love to do: Hit.”
Stay tuned for more from Powell as we go in-depth for a rare conversation with Cal’s running back commit over the next several days, including more film!