Pro Powe

Ole Miss Defensive Tackle Jerrell Powe has decided to take his skills to the National Football League rather than play another year as a Rebel, but he will take Ole Miss with him wherever he goes in life and will always be a Rebel. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Defensive Tackle Jerrell Powe has had an agonizing decision hanging over his head for months, but after the final horn of the Egg Bowl matchup, he knew he had to get serious and make a choice.

Powe is a senior eligibility-wise, but he had the option to apply for another year and possibly play for another season at Ole Miss, an environment where he is entirely comfortable, or move on to the fertile grounds of the National Football League, where opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream awaits.

Jerrell, after much consideration, has opted to go to the NFL, but it's with a heavy heart in many respects.

"I love everything about Ole Miss. There were no drawbacks to coming back for another year, if another year would have been granted, that's why it was such a tough decision," Jerrell said in a quiet tone, "but it's just time for me to move on and test the waters at the next level.

"I am 23 years old right now and will be 24 in March. Most guys my age with NFL dreams and careers have already been in the league a year or two. I have to take advantage of my prime earning and playing years now."

Powe has had a hard week, waffling back and forth and changing his mind several times.

Jerrell Powe

"There's no doubt I will miss my teammates, my coaches, the fans and the school. They have given me so much and I love them all. I will miss the college experience," he continued, "but I have to go with my brain and not my heart. It's time for me to start using my God-given ability to earn a living for me and my family.

"Ole Miss has given me the opportunity to further my education and to pursue my dream of playing pro football. I will always be grateful for that and will always be a Rebel."

Wherever Powe goes, he will spread the word about Ole Miss.

"I will always be a positive ambassador for Ole Miss, no matter where life sends me. I have made wonderful friends, lifelong friends, who I will always cherish," he noted. "I have no regrets. I wish we had won more games this year but it just didn't work out.

"In life, you have to take the good with the bad. You mature that way, through good times and tough times. I have gotten way more good at Ole Miss than bad and that's what I will take with me. My memories of Ole Miss are the best, no doubt about it."

Powe said he believes in the Ole Miss football program.

"As I said, we had kind of the perfect storm this year of things not going our way, but the coaches and players are already taking steps to correct some things, recruiting will go well and the program will be back on the right track very soon," Jerrell assessed. "I truly believe that.

"I know I intend to come back as often as I can and I will be on the sidelines supporting my Rebels. It will be good in the future and I want to be a part of it."

It's official.

Jerrell will enter the NFL draft, but if you will allow a little editorializing at this juncture, read on.

We can do nothing but wish this young man, this Rebel, well.

In his 23 years, particularly in the last five or six, Jerrell has been through enough trials and tribulations to write a book, a compelling book.

The moral of the story will be to never give up on your dreams, no matter what roadblocks stand in the way.

Jerrell took public ridicule, shunning from the school he cherishes when he tried to enter, an NCAA ruling or two that lacked any compassion or true spirit of collegiate athletics, and a battle with weight control.

He conquered it all and came out on top, in more ways than one.

His accomplishments on the football field were in pretty high cotton, but may not be thought of in the same light as a Manning, Willis, Oher, McAllister or McCluster historically. Only time will tell what his legacy evolves into.

Anyone, however, who understands what he went through and what he accomplished despite the naysayers and doubters, cannot deny his hero status as an Ole Miss Rebel.

Jerrell Powe lived the American dream and fortunately he lived it as a Rebel.

God bless you, big guy.

Have a great career and come back to see us - often and soon.

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