What to Like: Powell is a flat out playmaker. He's started for three seasons at the prep level and has done so on both sides of the ball. He's been a major threat every time he's touched the ball during that time. He averaged over seven yards per carry with 13 touchdowns at the running back spot. He caught 17 passes for 183 yards and two scores as a receiver. He picked off two passes on defense. He scored touchdowns in the return game. He never leaves the field, and makes big plays in all three phases. He's been recruited by schools at three different positions. As a running back, he's an open field type of runner. Once he gets into the open, he has a chance to score at anytime. He has very good speed and excellent short-area quickness. Those qualities make him a solid prospect as a slot receiver. He's a potential game-changer in the return game, too. He has speed, quickness, hands, ball skills, the ability to make a lot of people miss, and the versatility to make plays in all three phases. Anytime a South Florida player can offer all those qualities, he'll get heavily recruited. And Powell has been.
What may concern you: At 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, he lacks ideal size to be an every down running back. He doesn't have the size or strength to go between the tackles. He'll never be an outside receiver. And while he has very good speed, it's not elite to the point where everyone could overlook his lack of ideal size. He doesn't have the speed of a Devin Hester or a Phillip Dorsett. Another thing schools have wondered is what is his true position? Some schools recruited him at RB, some at WR, and some on defense. Will he be able to really settle in at one spot and make a big difference remains to be seen.
Bottom Line: Powell landed over 20 scholarship offers back in the spring. He committed to Tennessee back in June but still came to Miami's camp and earned a commitable offer from the Hurricanes. They've been hard on him ever since, and it paid off. Powell is one of the top playmakers in south Florida. He's the school's top playmaker/prospect since Denard Robinson came out a few years back. With offers from schools like North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, he was recruited like a high three-star prospect. He reminds people some of Dallas Crawford, who did a number of things in high school. In a big class like the Canes are signing this year, Powell is someone you want to make room for. The UM coaches did that, and it's a real quality addition to an already strong Hurricane recruiting class.