New Defense Good Fit for Powell

Ronald Powell is struggling to hide his excitement about the new defensive scheme. He's opening the spring first on the depth chart at the BUCK linebacker position, and the sophomore couldn't imagine a more perfect fit. Powell committed to the previous coaching staff, but it didn't take long for him to realize how well he fits into the new defense.

"It's a great fit for me," Ronald Powell said. "Dan Quinn and B-Young are great coaches. The system that they're running is a great fit for me."

The BUCK position gives Powell a chance to showcase his versatility. He came to campus last season as a defensive end, but he was moved to linebacker during the season. He is talented enough to produce at either position, and the move to the BUCK linebacker position gives him a chance to prove it.

Powell could have his hand in the ground as a defensive end on one play, while lining up as a pass rushing outside linebacker during the next. He could record a sack on one play and drop into coverage on the next. It's his athleticism that makes it a great fit.

"Oh, I love it," Powell said, grinning from ear-to-ear. "It's more freedom. You don't have to have your hand in the ground the whole time- you can stand up. It's kind of my choice. I can come off the end and attack. I can pass rush or go out into coverage."

The move came after Will Muschamp got a chance to watch some of the tape from last season. He saw an athlete that was perfect for the BUCK position, a slot that Muschamp used to move players like Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle into first round picks out of Texas.

After the two talked about it, Muschamp showed Powell film of Kindle and Jason Taylor, when the NFL star played the position during Muschamp's tenure with the Miami Dolphins.

"When the new coaches came in, they evaluated the film and looked at the different guys," Powell said. "They decided it themselves and told me I'd play here. Coach Muschamp has had a lot of guys play the position for him at Texas and other places.

"It's the best position for me. If I could've picked any position for me, it would've been the buck."

Powell insists that he is picking up the BUCK position well and learning the playbook without many problems early.

That wasn't the case when he came to campus last fall.

He was the crown jewel of a freshman class that drew whispers about being one of the best recruiting classes of all time. The older players heard those whispers, too. It caused a friction between the two groups that lasted for a majority of the season.

For Powell individually, it was a battle just to make an impact on the field.

"It was a rough start, coming in with a lot of expectations. It was rough and I got settled in and became the player that I was.

"It was difficult just because of me being young. I didn't want to listen all the time and had my own way of doing things. That's what was difficult."

With the issues of his youth behind him and a position change to his benefit, Powell could be in for a breakout season.

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