Westlake is currently undefeated with an 8-0 record, while averaging over 32 points-per-game and holding opponents to less than a touchdown on average.
"I feel pretty good [about our season]," said Zaccarelli. "Our kids are playing hard, they're working hard, and playing some good football. We have a couple of tough games left here and then we'll start the playoffs. Right now I feel our guys are really gelling together."
In eight games, Powell, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end, has totaled 41 tackles, 11 sacks, deflected three passes, and blocked a punt. He has also forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles returning one of them for a touchdown.
The Tar Heels' coaching staff recognizes Powell's playmaking ability and figures to plug him on the weakside of the defensive line where he'll be a threat to the opposing quarterback.
"I think they're going to use him as a rush end," said Zaccarelli. "They know he also has the ability to drop back in coverage."
Despite his current ability and accomplishments, Zaccarelli believes Powell possesses plenty of untapped talent.
"He has tremendous potential and reminds me a lot of a former player I've had, Lavon Chisley, who went to Penn State," said Zaccarelli. "He has potential for growth. He's a kid that can put on anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds and maintain his top speed. He's very active, fast off the ball, good strength, and real good work ethic."
Powell, who speaks to recruiting coordinator Tommy Thigpen weekly, figures to take his lone official visit with the Tar Heels after his senior season concludes. He, along with teammate and fellow UNC commit Aaris Reed, has already attended a couple of UNC's home games.
The lack of block scheduling in Westlake's academic program will prevent Powell from considering early graduation. However, Powell plans to enroll at North Carolina during the earliest summer semester possible.