Tydreke Powell: Making A Big Name For Himself

Here's a name you better get used to hearing: Tydreke "Dreke" Powell. This 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle spends as much time in offensive backfields as most tailbacks and you can expect to see him coming at you in recruiting highlight reels very soon. He's from Ahoskie (NC) Hertford County High School, up in the northeast corner of the state. You may not have ever heard of Ahoskie but every Division I coach in the country has and they're beating a pathway to Powell's door.

(Tydreke Powell profile)

The Florida Gators are one of the teams high on Powell's list of favorites. He hasn't visited Gainesville yet but he's got plans to come down to the UF campus in June.

"I'll be coming down there for June 11th," said Powell, who was one of the bright stars at Scout.com's All-American Combine in Durham. "I will be down there for the camp date, but I will just be hanging around the coaches and players and all of that.

"There is a lot of interest in Florida. I have just loved Florida for a long time. They recruit the best and got the two best players out of North Carolina in Brandon Spikes and Carl Johnson. It tells me they want the players here in North Carolina and will come here to recruit them. I know both of those guys and they are real good guys to be around."

Coach John "Doc" Holliday recruits North Carolina for the Gators and this is a year when the Tar Heel state is brimming with talent. Holliday has built a good relationship with Powell, who will rank among the top few players in the state this year.

"Coach Holliday is recruiting me and he is a great guy," said Powell, who calls Holliday regularly. "I haven't met him in person, but I am sure when I meet him in person I know he will be great. I am ready to meet the whole coaching staff and get to know more about Florida. That's a great school and a great football program."

Coach Urban Meyer has made a big impression on Powell, selling him on Florida's need to bring in a strong defensive line class this year.

"Coach Meyer is great, too." Powell said. "He said that they really want me down there and they say I can play early. Their defensive tackle number 44 (Marcus Thomas), my number, is gone after this year and that's real special if I can get down there and play early."

Florida gets a tremendous amount of national television exposure so Powell is quite familiar with the Gators. He's seen them play on television quite a number of times so he knows what he is getting into.

"I have seen them on TV and they are a great program that have won a lot of games and bowl games and that's what I want to be a part of," he said. "The defense is great. Every time I watch them I picture myself in that front."

Even though the Gators are high on his favorite list, UF is by no means all alone. Because the offers keep pouring in, Powell is keeping his options open, listening carefully to each coach that comes calling.

"I am still wide open right now and am just trying to give everyone a chance," Powell said. "By the end of June I should be able to break down my top five. Miami, Florida, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech are really hard after me right now."

Along with Florida he will also visit Florida State and Miami over the summer. He plans to have a top five sorted out by the end of June and he plans to take his official visits during the season and into January. If he makes the US Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio, he just might announce his final decision on national television during that prestigious high school all-star game.

Hertford County game films are like highlight reels of big plays for Powell. He is nasty and relentless to the ball. As a junior, he had 11 sacks and 83 tackles. One thing that's also quite evident on his game film is his enthusiasm to play the game.

"I bring excitement and big plays to the program," he said. "I am a hard worker and just love the game of football. I am more aggressive than players on the other team and anyone that lines up against me, I don't think they can block me."

The most famous graduate of Tydreke Powell's high school is Hall of Fame pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter. Just as people in this area will never forget Catfish, they won't forget Tydreke Powell, either. He's a big time defensive tackle prospect that the Florida Gators have pinpointed as a need player for their recruiting class of 2007.

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