Jerrell Powe -

Some have said they want the "old Jerrell Powe" to surface. What is actually coming to light now is the new and improved Jerrell Powe in the making. Read about it inside.

There's a different look in the eyes of Rebel Defensive Tackle Jerrell Powe now.

It's a look of confidence, belonging to a cause and being comfortable, for the first time in several years.

Just a few short months ago, Jerrell was overweight, out of shape and uncertain of his future. There's no need rehashing most of that scenario - anyone reading this knows the whole story in detail.

Now, he's still slightly overweight - 340 with 325 the goal, but he's in shape and very certain of the direction he's going in.

"I've been waiting a long time for this so when I was able to contribute Saturday night, it felt really good," said the personable Powe.

Jerrell's every move is watched closely by the Rebel faithful. After the ordeal he went through just to get to Ole Miss and be able to play football, fans are pulling harder for him than anyone on the team. He appreciates that.

"I try not to think about it, but it feels good knowing people are on your side," said Jerrell. "It makes me want to step my game up for them. It makes me want to do more for those supporting me."

Powe is still in the process of learning. Some of the pieces are starting to fit now. Jerrell said he's about where he expected to be at this stage of his still-young career.

"A lot of people expected me to come in and take over, but I knew it was going to be a slow process," he continued. "In August, I was sore and aching all the time because I had been out of football for so long, but it's all starting to come together now. I knew it was going to be a slow start, but I think a lot of that is behind me now."

Jerrell was slowed some early in the year by an old wrist injury that gets a light cast before every practice and game.

"It was very sore in early August, but I'm more comfortable using my hand now. It doesn't hurt as much," he explained. "I've gotten most of the rust off my game, but I still have a tendency to try to two-gap sometimes and we are a one-gap defense. That's something I have to keep reminding myself of. In this league, you can't two-gap.

"In high school, I was able to line up over the center and play both gaps on either side of him. In this league, they run a lot of zone, so you have to stay with your gap."

Powe says his conditioning is much better now than at the first of August.

"I feel real good now conditioning-wise," he stated. "I can hold up now."

Which brings us back to his weight, which Powe talks about with a sense of humor.

"I know I could be quicker at 325, but it's hard to lose in the season the way they feed us. After a practice like today, I'm not turning down any catfish. I know I have to work on that, but it's difficult to during the season," he added.

Powe made a tackle for a two-yard loss against Vanderbilt and got a rousing ovation.

"I was on top of the world. I got mad when a timeout was called before the next play," closed Powe. "I hope to get more action and start making more plays as the season progresses."

It won't be Powe's last tackle and it won't be his last ovation.

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