Powell: 'We Can Turn It Around'

Whether he was admitting it publicly or not, North Carolina has been Tydreke Powell's leader since the beginning of his recruitment. His official visit to North Carolina over the weekend pushed him to finally pull the trigger with a firm verbal commitment.

"It went real great," said Powell of the visit. "I got around the guys and it just made me feel at home.

"Carolina's always been number one, so why not [commit]. I wanted to get all this pressure off of me so that I can focus on just schoolwork and just get ready for the summer so we can go do it."

Powell, who was hosted by Kyndraus Guy, didn't participate in much that he hadn't done during prior visits to Chapel Hill. However, his experience at the basketball game showed how loyal the fan base is at UNC.

"What really did it was when we went to the basketball game and seeing the fans saying ‘We love you and we really want you here,' it really touched me," said Powell. "I'm not even there yet, so imagine how it is when I get there."

On the heels of that "love," Powell spontaneously verbally committed to North Carolina.

"After halftime we went into a little refreshment room and all the coaches were there," said Powell. "I announced [my pledge] then.

"When I told [the coaches] I'm coming, they said get ready for next season, because we're going to turn it around."

Powell, a 6-foot-4 295-pound defensive tackle, has bought into the "turn the program around" buzz.

"This freshman class coming in, we can turn it around," said Powell. "I'm trying to work on Marvin [Austin] now. Marvin's leaning towards Florida State, but I'm going to stop him from making a big mistake [because] the Tar Heels are where it's at."

Although the two defensive tackles haven't spoken since Powell's pledge, they have kept in contact on a regular basis the last few weeks.

"I last talked to him when he was on his [UNC] visit last weekend," said Powell. "He told me he really liked it. And I told him ‘Just do what's best for you.' I hope he doesn't make the wrong decision."

Powell was unaware of reports that Austin might have missed his official visit to Florida State this past weekend.

In addition to helping North Carolina with their recruiting efforts, Powell will focus on his academics. He says that he will qualify, but that he's taking the SAT again in March to better the odds.

In the meantime, Powell is anchoring Ahoskie (N.C.) Hertford County basketball squad, which has gotten off to a good start.

Tydreke Powell Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories