Powers preparing for competition at punter

Whirlwind might be the way to describe Brian Powers' life in the month of June. The incoming punter went from preparing for a sophomore year of junior college to joining the Rebels for summer workouts. After some time in Oxford, Powers is extremely pleased with the turn of events.

"Coach Rip (Rippon) called the beginning of June, and I signed June 13 before having to be here June 23," Powers explained. "It went from junior college to Division I football in about two weeks. I signed and got out here. It is a different world and some adjustments, but it has been great so far."

Oxford isn't a different world, but it is a couple time zones to the right. Powers played his freshman season at College of San Mateo near San Francisco, and the California heat doesn't compare to that in Mississippi, which will be presented in full force during two-a-days.

"The first day I was here, I got off the plane in Memphis and started sweating my butt off. And now I'm not as bad because I am getting used to it. The weather is definitely different."

Sky punting was Powers' specialty out West, so distance and hang time are the things being worked on now. Competition is what awaits Powers with incumbent punter Rob Park now a junior. Powers respects the two-year starter's ability, but is far from conceding the job.

"Coach Rip wanted to know if I could get the ball off. He asked me if the ball was on the 20, could I boom it out of there so that is what I'm working on. Rob Park puts a lot of hang time on the ball so he is going to give me a lot of competition. It is going to be a good battle, but I'm going to get the ball out there and see what happens."

Powers is entering camp ready to learn technique firsthand for the first time.

"I'm kind of raw because I've never been taught. I picked it up watching Ray Guy films. So, it has been about making adjustments when something goes wrong."

Not being previously taught could cause problems considering changes that will most likely be made, but it is also encouraging because talent is obviously present in raw form.

Powers was content with JUCO, but the opportunity for big time college football outweighed everything else.

"It is a great opportunity. I told my junior college coaches that I wouldn't leave without the perfect opportunity, and this is that opportunity. A full ride in the SEC, you wouldn't turn that down. Once I saw Florida, Georgia and LSU, that is an opportunity you can't give up."

Although the opposing teams were a draw, Ole Miss is quickly growing on the punter. He says that the culture is different from what he is used to, but that he couldn't have asked for a better situation.

"I'm really excited to be here. It is a beautiful campus and the SEC, the best football in the nation. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Culture is different, but I love it. Great place and a great atmosphere."

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