Primarily a linebacker at Charlotte's Providence Day, Powell had to accept that if he wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in Kenan Stadium, he would have to play fullback.
Powell accepted almost immediately when UNC offered the 6-foot-2 1/2, 225-pounder.
"Ever since I was a kid I wanted to play football there," Powell told Inside Carolina. "At first they were looking at me as a linebacker, but I think it's pretty much set now that I will play fullback."
Powell has a remarkable ability to diagnose plays and find the ball. According to some that have seen him play, he is a superb athlete who could play other positions as he grows and matures. The consensus opinion is that he could contribute immediately next year.
"That's one thing that motivates me," Powell said. "I'm always trying to get better yearly. There is always room for improvement and that is the way I look at things. That's the way that I've always been. I can always get better. If not getting perfect, just getting as close to it as I can as possible. I'm real happy and I'm blessed with my scholarship and everything, but next year I plan on doing even more."
Powell, who led his team last year with more than 100 tackles and 14 sacks, will take his official visit to UNC this Friday through Sunday.
"I'm real happy for him," said Chargers' coach and UNC graduate Keith Flynn. "That was his lifelong dream to play at Carolina. I don't think he could have made a better choice. Maryland had made an early offer to him, but late in the summer Carolina called and Coach Bunting made the offer. Cori said he wanted to get the decision behind him and not have that hanging over our season.
"If it's a dream come true and that's what you want, then you need to do it and that's what he did."
"It's been tough," Powell said. "I've always put more stress on myself as anyone to be a dominating player. I've always thought that I have yet to play up to my potential, even to this day."
Stay tuned to for Part II tomorrow…