Dylan Powell hit the ground running in 2016.
The guard prospect from Hannibal, MO, said himself his recruitment didn't really heat up until a few months before signing day. The three star recruit held offers from the likes of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Iowa State and Georgia Tech, and the coveted Stanford offer came just a few weeks before February 3rd.
After official visits to Virginia Tech and Stanford in a span of a few days, the guard made his choice.
"Stanford was the best opportunity for me, and that's where I felt like I could go in, be the most successful and really just improve myself in every aspect of life," Powell said. "The opportunity there after school is truly amazing. That will set me up for the rest of my life...and be an accomplished member in our society."
The offensive line is, well, stout in the 2016 class. There is a group that deem themselves "The Fat Five": Powell, Henry Hattis, Devery Hamilton, Nate Herbig, and Clark Yarbrough. The class also features walk-on Matt Gutwald.
The nickname has kicked up traction on Twitter, but it's more than just a hashtag. It's been a rallying cry for the recruits to come together.
"As an offensive line, that's really important to be a pretty tight-knit group, to be able to communicate," Powell said. "That's going to be our brotherhood on the offensive line and go to war every day. So we will build a great relationship when we get out there."
In David Shaw's signing day press conference, he mentioned the excitement around this group but also mentioned there isn't a true center in this class. He tabbed Powell as a potential target for that, even if it is just in emergency situations.
Powell doesn't mind that at all.
"I will play wherever the coaches want me to play. I feel like I can play honestly any position. As an offensive lineman, you can't just be focused on one position, so you have to learn all of them at once," Powell said.
"It's basically a chain-reaction so everybody has to know everybody's job each play to be able to help the communication and be well-prepared for each play. I think we're all going to have to be versatile, learn every position and do the best we can."
Some are comparing this group of offensive linemen to the 2012 class, which featured Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy, Josh Garnett, Graham Shuler and Johnny Caspers.
Those expectations paralleling current and former Cardinal who ran over and through the nation's best defenses fuel Powell and his fellow heartily-built friends.
"It just makes us realize every day that we're going to have to go in and work hard to fulfill our expectations and do whatever we can to be successful," Powell said. “We're expected to go in there and do great things for the university and represent the program with class and be everything a Stanford man is about.”