Bilal Powell a big pickup for Louisville

Lake Gibson, Florida star athlete Bilal Powell rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior and earned second team Class 5A All-State honors. But the 6-0, 200-pound Powell likely won't play offense at Louisville. That's because his strengths lie as a defensive back.

Lake Gibson, Florida star athlete Bilal Powell rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior and earned second team Class 5A All-State honors. But the 6-0, 200-pound Powell likely won't play offense at Louisville. That's because his strengths lie as a defensive back.

"He's really not a running back because he excels so well on defense," Lake Gibson coach Keith Demyer said. "He played cornerback as a junior and we only played him at running back out of necessity. He's very aggressive on defense and tackles well, and he can cover. Bilal has the whole package."

So while Powell racked up yardage and honors as a running back this season, his calling appears as a big, fast and physical corner for the Cardinals. Powell, a first team All-County selection who played in Florida's North-South All-Star game, runs a sub-4.5 forty.

"I think he's leaning toward playing defense," Demyer said. "The former staff at Louisville was going to find the best fit for him, but I think they'd like him to come up there now and play defense."

Powell made an official visit to Louisville earlier this month and wanted to commit to the Cardinals on the spot. But Demyer advised him not to do that and take some other visits for comparison sake.

Powell tripped to Southern Miss and was slated to visit Michigan State, who had Powell as the #1 running back on their recruiting board, this weekend. Kansas State also just tried to get involved in Powell's recruitment.

"I don't think he's going to visit Michigan State," Demyer said. "When he committed to Louisville he nixed the visit to Michigan State. He's totally committed to Louisville."

Academically, Powell has made big strides in the classroom, but still has work to do to get eligible for college.

"He's got a 2.7 gpa and he's really turned things around in the classroom the past year or so," Demyer said. "Right now he needs to work on his SAT test score and we're doing that. He needs about four or five more points on the test."


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