Interview by Sam Webb
Story by Kyle Bogenschutz
Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech senior defensive back Jaylen Kelly-Powell has been committed to Michigan for a month now.
Just weeks prior to his early enrollment in Ann Arbor, Kelly-Powell and his family cashed in on their official visit with the Wolverines last weekend.
"It was pretty good," Kelly-Powell told The Michigan Insider. "It felt like home as always. I saw everybody and their family members and cousins and got to meet them. The players that I'll be graduating with and coming in with really, are great people as well.
"We were telling jokes and seeing things that we really don't see on a regular visit. We got to see the campus life a little bit. With the coaches we watched film, went to practice and everything was good, seeing a lot of my alumni brothers."
Kelly-Powell admitted this trip had a different feel, despite being on Michigan's campus more than a handful of times in recent years.
One of the reasons for the unique weekend centered on the amount of time spent not only with fellow recruits in attendance, but also with members of the current group of Wolverines.
"What made it better was really how all the players came and interact with each other," Kelly-Powell said. "Usually on a visit you don't interact with each other that much but the players were.
"For this we had more like that bond and family for real. We kind of just bonded, have fun, cracking jokes, went out and did things together."
The next step in the process of Kelly-Powell's transition from Technician to Wolverine is where exactly the four-star talent will lineup defensively in Don Brown's defense.
"They didn't specify cause they're still trying to decide how they want to teach me, to learn it really," he said.
"They know I'm smart, they know I can learn it but they want to see how good I really learn."
Spending a significant amount of time on the visit with both defensive coordinator Don Brown and defensive backs coach Brian Smith, Kelly-Powell's father Siruli Powell says his son's role is yet to be determined.
"Coach Smith is not a hoopla type guy, more of a laid back guy but knows what he's talking about and him coming from the NFL he can break it down for you in detail. Coach Brown is a straight forward, straight shooter.
"He said he has to sit down and figure out how he's going to bring Jaylen along going from the free, to the roamer to the viper. Incorporate everything for him cause he has to learn so much so they're trying to figure out which way to go with him."
Venturing off on all five official visits with his son, Suruli Powell called the weekend at Michigan "by far the best visit ever."
"This was the one where you get all of it in one," Powell added. "You get the support of the fans, the coaches, the coaches families, they made us feel like we were part of their family.
"We saw everybody's wife and kids and it was like a huge family event. It was almost like a family reunion type situation, the whole weekend."
Two of the bigger fish at the official visit weekend were five-stars Donovan Peoples-Jones and Najee Harris.
According to Kelly-Powell, both enjoyed the sights and sounds of Ann Arbor.
"They had a great time," he said. "Najee Harris is a great player and a great guy, great guy to hang with and be with, great person."
"(Najee's) a humble guy."
One of the closest people to Kelly-Powell is recent Michigan commitment and Detroit King athlete Ambry Thomas.
Both head to Michigan with one very lofty goal.
Said Kelly-Powell, "we've got one thing we want to do and that's go win a national championship."