"They have everything I'm looking for. They have my major, Electrical Engineering. Everything seems right there."
New Illini head coach Tim Beckman left no doubt in Powell's mind he was pleased with the decision.
"I talked to him earlier today. He's really excited. He nearly jumped through the phone."
The 6'-2", 290 pounder has a chance to play early in his career.
"They need d-tackles, and their d-end is entering the draft this year. So there should be a lot of playing time."
Another factor was the impression defensive line coach Keith Gilmore made on Powell. Joe Gilbert was the original recruiter at Miami Norland, but Gilmore took over when former head coach Ron Zook and his staff were let go.
"My recruiting coach is Coach Gilmore. That was pretty much it from then. I just kept it on the hush.
"That's why it didn't bother me that Coach Zook wasn't the coach no more. I have a good relationship with my d-line coach."
Powell says his game has no weaknesses.
"I can pass rush, and I can be a run stopper. I'm quick, I can play."
He is dedicated to being the best he can be.
"I want to continue to work on everything. I can be a whole lot better player."
Powell helped lead Miami Norland to a Florida State championship.
"We won the 5-A state championship and had an undefeated season, 15-0. It was great. We beat the (Crawfordville) Wakulla War Eagles 38 to zip. We have a lot of top prospects that everybody wants."
Powell was rewarded for his play with a post-season invitation.
"I had an All-Star game in Phoenix. It went good, we won. I had four tackles for loss. We had enough people to have 2 or 3 different defenses, so we just kept rotating. That's why I didn't have more tackles."
Norland has a lot of top talent returning for next year's team as well. Powell is wasting no time letting them know about his future college home.
"We have a lot of juniors. We have d-tackle Anari Ragin. At linebacker, we've got Treyvon Williams. I'm already in their ear."
Powell's decision gives a big boost to the new Illinois football staff as it looks to salvage this recruiting season.