O.P. Walker offense in good hands with Powell

Devin Powell, the junior QB at O.P. Walker HS (Algiers, La.), has prototype height (6-5) and athleticism (4.5 speed) and he's ready to breakout on the recruiting scene.

O.P. Walker advanced to the Class 4A semifinals last year and while the Chargers lose some highly-talented seniors to graduation, there's plenty of firepower returning.

On the defensive side of the football, the West Bank Metro Area school features LSU commit Dwayne Thomas, who is one of the best defensive players in the nation, regardless of position.

On offense, the Chargers return quarterback Devin Powell, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound junior. With Powell calling the signals, O.P. Walker upset highly-touted foes Bastrop and Salmen in the 2010 playoffs. In the Bastrop game, Powell threw for one touchdown and ran for two more.

While Thomas and Powell are excellent players, how will the Chargers cope with the loss of five-star DT Anthony Johnson (LSU), CB Cortez Johnson (Arizona), and RB Robert Kelley (Tulane)?

"We'll be alright," said Powell. "We have some guys that played behind the seniors who will step up. Dwayne is one of the most-recruited DBs in the country, and wide receiver Raymond Jackson is a great player.

"We have a new offensive coordinator, and I'll be working hard to make plays. I can run the ball and throw, but I like to throw the most."

Surprisingly, Powell doesn't have any offers yet, but he's hearing from programs such as Mississippi State, ULM, and UL. He'd like to hear from Miami and Oregon.

Powell enjoyed the deep postseason run in 2010, and he says expectations are high in 2011.

"It was a great feeling to make the semifinals," he said. "We only had around 40 players on our roster, so we really didn't expect to make it that far. We also had a lot of injuries, but players stepped up and did their job as replacements."

When asked about Thomas, Powell had no shortage of praise for his teammate.

"Dwayne is a tough player," said Powell. "He never quits, and he's always helping his teammates. He has the mentality that he can't be beat on pass plays.

"He's so into the game. I really can't describe it."

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