UNC was Always the Team to Beat for Powell

Despite publicly claiming being open throughout a good part of his recruitment, North Carolina always appeared to be Tydreke Powell's ultimate destination.

"[UNC] was always the place to be beaten out," said Greg Watford, Ahoskie (N.C.) Hertford County head football coach. "They got in early in his high school career, he was impressed with them, and he was a Julius Peppers fan.

"That was always the deal, but there were some other schools that made a strong push. Virginia Tech was there until the end; so was Florida State."

Powell, a 6-foot-4 295-pound defensive tackle, selected the Tar Heels over scholarship offers from Auburn, Penn State, Florida, FSU, and Virginia Tech, among others.

"The new staffing choices made a big difference," said Watford. "The keeping of Coach [Kenny] Browning, the addition of John Blake – who seems to be a tremendous man, and the Coach [Butch] Davis himself. [Davis] took a real interest, actively recruiting the kid himself personally. I think all those things made a difference."

Speaking of Browning, Powell's primary recruiter, the bond created between the two seemed to build the foundation for Powell's decision to come to North Carolina.

"Throughout his high school career, [Browning] was very friendly, always encouraging with Powell," said Watford. "Tydreke just knew he was a genuine guy and he saw that in [Browning] from the time he was a freshman and it stayed true all the way through."

Despite his fairly impressive rankings, Watford believes Powell is slightly underrated because of their location.

"I've coached football for 23 years and if there's a better d-lineman in the country… you know – that's what [UNC is] getting," said Watford. "If we were sitting in [Washington] D.C. or L.A. or Detroit or Baton Rouge, Tydreke would be the top kid in the country. The things he did for us were tremendous and I think they're going to see that when he walks out there [on UNC's field]."

A Scout.com four-star prospect, Powell is ranked as the tenth best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.

During his senior season, Powell recorded 135 tackles and 14 sacks. He also added four touchdowns in limited action at fullback.

Additionally, Powell represented the state of North Carolina in the 70th Annual Shrine Bowl tallying three tackles including one for a loss.

According to Watford, core grade-wise, Powell is in good shape to qualify, however they are just awaiting test scores.

"We're just going to keep doing it and doing it until he gets [a qualifying test score]," said Watford. "We'll just wait and see how he does on these next tests. He doesn't need much because his GPA is pretty good."

Tydreke Powell Profile

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