Powell is blown away in Gainesville

ATH Ronald Powell (6-4, 235, 4.6) from Rancho Verde High in Moreno Valley, Calif., had talked about taking an unofficial visit to Gainesville this summer. This week, Powell traveled to Gainesville to attend a Gator Camp and get a feel for what the University of Florida is all about. And he was blown away with what he experienced.

"Man, it was a great experience," said Powell. "It was just great coming into Coach (Urban) Meyer's office and watching a highlight film and video of the team with President Obama, seeing how the players do things, how they interact with the coaches, seeing the weight room and just being in the Swamp was great. I was just thinking about all the great players who have played there on Saturdays. I would rate the visit a 10."

In fact, Powell had such a good time, he's seriously considering heading back to Gainesville next month.

"I'm trying to get back there because I had a wonderful time there," said Powell when asked if he would attend Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp. "I liked it there a lot."

Powell wasn't too familiar with Urban Meyer before his trip to Gainesville, but Meyer left a very favorable impression on Powell.

"He's just real, he's a real dude," said Powell about Florida head football coach Urban Meyer. "Even though I had a scholarship there, I didn't really know Coach Meyer. We just talked about life, what type of football player I am and why they are recruiting me. He said he looks forward to talking to me and to call him whenever I want, now that he knows who I am. And that was a big thing. He was just being honest, just being a real person."

Although Powell competed at a Florida Camp while he was there, he did have an opportunity to experience what the city of Gainesville is like and what the people are like.

"I got to get the feeling it's college town and everybody there is about the college," said Powell. "The fan support is crazy and I was signing autographs. Little kids were walking up to me asking for my autograph. The fan support is just crazy from the high school coaches, the moms, the dads, it's just unbelievable."

Next up for Powell is USC's Rising Stars Camp and an opportunity to form a close bond with defensive line coach, Jethro Franklin. In the past three years, David Watson was recruiting Powell and he doesn't know Franklin that well, yet.

"I don't know him real well, but I've had a few conversations with him and I actually talked to him this morning," said Powell. "He was telling me he heard I had a good time in Florida and I'm supposed have a good time. And he was asking about my brother, and seeing if he's alright and stuff."

So, the opportunity for Franklin to coach Powell and form a strong relationship will be a top priority on June 24th and 25th. Powell already had a strong relationship with Watson and Nick Holt, but it was Watson who had basically convinced Powell USC the best choice for him. Now Franklin will have to do the same thing in a shorter period of time.

"In the beginning, it was Coach Watson who was recruiting me," said Powell. "I probably would have been committed to USC and not looking at other schools if Coach Watson was there. He worked, he was a coach who truly worked and sold me on why SC was the best place for me. He really, really worked, and that's where the respect came from. He worked his a** off to get Tyron (Smith)."

We asked Powell if USC and Florida were really the only two schools he was considering at this point.

"After seeing Florida and seeing SC, I love the schools, I love the coaches, but if feel there's a better place for me, then that's where I'll go," said Powell. "I'm looking at the schools where the coaches are recruiting me. Coach Meyer's doing it, Coach White is doing it, Pete Carroll's doing it, Brennan Carroll's doing it, Jethro's doing it. But in the end, I'm going to go to place that's best for me. This is the biggest decision of my life. I'm highly interested in Florida and I'm highly interested in USC."

Powell said he will definitely take official visits to USC and Florida, but he said he wants to visit a few other schools, too. He said he would like to visit California, maybe UCLA and Tennessee. But he said he's definitely narrowed his list of schools he's interested in. Basically, if a school is showing high interest in Powell, he's considered or is considering that school.

"I'm kind of at a point where I'm narrowing things down, but it will come down to who is recruiting me," said Powell. "A lot of schools have offered me scholarships, but they never talk to me. I had never talked to LSU, not one time, and I got on the phone with their recruiting coordinator, and they sent me a scholarship. What am I supposed to do? They just gave me a piece of paper, but I don't have a relationship with anyone there."

It's well known USC is a school Powell has high interest in, but after his visit to Florida, his experience at the Rising Stars Camp has become pivotal in whether or not Powell ends up a Trojan. USC fans can only hope Jethro Franklin is up for the challenge. Knowing Franklin, I'm sure he is.

"Yes, it's going to be a big deal," said Powell about USC's Rising Stars Camp impacting his decision on a school.

We'll have more from Powell after a passing league event being held in Fontana tomorrow.

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