Much Love for Penn State

Add yet another name to the pool of recruits Penn State is actively pursuing. While this may be a newer prospect to many followers of the Nittany Lions' recruiting efforts, Tydreke Powell says he is genuinely interested in Penn State.

How interested?

Tydreke Powell, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound four-star defensive tackle prospect from Hertford County High in Ahoskie, N.C., didn't mince words with respect to his feelings toward Penn State.

“I love Penn State and they have a great shot at landing me,” Powell said.

The Nittany Lions extended Powell a written offer this past spring and have recruited him since. According to Powell, he has reciprocated the interest.

“It was real big that Penn State offered me,” Powell said. “They were one of the schools that came to see me in the spring. That really touched me. I've followed Penn State for a long time. It's real big. I've been liking them for a long time. I'm really looking forward to seeing them play Michigan Oct. 14.”

Currently, Powell has one official visit scheduled, that being to Penn State. Powell originally was scheduled to take an official visit to Miami when it faces Florida State in September, but is in the process of rescheduling that visit.

As for the Penn State visit, Powell said Nittany Lion defensive line coach Larry Johnson is responsible for that. Johnson said he was going to try to make it to a Hertford practice in the spring to see Powell in action.

“I know how that sometimes goes,” Powell said. “I never thought he was going to come. It was real big when they came to see me, so I have to go and give them the same respect. I want to make a special visit for him.”

It is an example of the little things that often make the difference when a host of college powers are lining up for a star recruit.

“It has been real crazy,” Powell said. “There are a lot of good teams that I've got offers from. I don't want to go commit right now. I don't want to go on with the stress on my head, but I want to give everyone a chance. I just have to deal with it. Coach told me it's going to be tough but I have to step up and deal with it.”

Hertford coach Gregory Watford said Powell is a special player on and off the field, one who has garnered special attention from some of the top college programs in the country — including Penn State.

“I sent a tape in January and they saw the tape; the coach came down and watched him in spring workouts,” Hertford explained. “They were just blown away. He is a wonderful personality and a hard working kid. The reality is that we're in a very rural area. We don't have a local TV station. We tried to market him through the Internet and college recruiting channels. Every school that has seen a tape has offered him.”

Watford described the way Powell plays the tackle position.

“He's a tackle that moves like an end,” Watford said. “He's very agile. In our first scrimmage, he rushed for 75 yards as a fullback. In the first half, he had 11 tackles, three for loss and one sack, and we thought he wasn't having a good game. Tydreke gives us a very unique defensive look. He gives us that weapon.”

What does Powell think about playing both ways for his team?

“I'm doing everything I can to get to the state championship,” Powell said. “I'm just trying to do everything to help my team and the coaches. I have to go both ways to help. When I get in the game, everyone keys on me, and when that happens, we'll throw a pass to our tight end. We change it up on them.”

For now, Powell will take his time and likely won't announce until after the new year. If he is selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Powell said he would like to announce there.

“I went to the (U.S. Army National Junior Combine) at Texas, so I really want to do that,” Powell said. “If I make it to that game, I'd like to do it there, but if I don't make it, I want to get it on television.”

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