Reasons Galore

Ask Omar Powell for a list of reasons for choosing West Virginia as his college destination, and a virtual flood of positives about the Mountaineer program comes forth.

"The whole atmosphere, the campus, the fans, the loyalty and support that the coaches showed me, Coach Tall and Coach Rodriguez, the tailgating, the sold out stadium, all the Mountaineer apparell, everything was just great," said Powell after committing to the Mountaineers. "The players showed me a lot of respect too. I could see that they cared about me coming to school there. The program is on the rise, and I want to win a national championship while I'm there."

Powell, who visited the Mountaineer campus for the East Carolina game, met with several future teammates, including Parkersburg South's Ryan Dawson.

"We talked about how WVU is up and coming, and how we all want to be a part of it. We want to make the program better."

Powell has the chance to do just that, as he follows in the footsteps of Mountaineers such as Darryl and John Talley and Elige Longino.

"I met Darryl once, and I know that people from Shaw that got to WVU are very successful," Powell said. "Coach Rodriguez told me I could play numerous positions, but they want to start me out at linebacker. That's good with me, because defense wins championships. If you can stop the other team from scoring, you can win.

"I've always liked to hit. I've played since I was eight years old, and I've always played middle linebacker. I know everything is really fast there, and all the players are as good or better than you, but I'm ready to work to make myself better too."

Powell is a bit behind in his classroom work after a lackadaisical sophomore year, but has already set up and started a plan to make up the deficiencies.

I wam working with a tutor now for the ACT, which I will take in October," Powell said. "I'm attending school Monday through Saturday, and in the afternoons I go to an academy school for more work to recover credits. I believe I can do it and get qualified. Whatever it takes to play I will do."

Shaw is still looking to break into the win column this year, but Powell is anxious to test out some new defensive schemes that have been installed to take advantage of his skills.

"We are making changes and putting in a new base defense to let the linebackers make more plays," Powell related with obvious relish. "I'm looking forward to that."

Powell also said that despite interest from Iowa Michigan State, Indiana (offer) and Purdue, the recruiting process is over now.

"This is the end of recruiting for me," said the quick defender. "I'm planning on coming down to the Temple game too."

Powell is the third linebacker in the Class of 2005, joining Reed Williams and Zac Cooper. The Mountaineers could take at least two more backers in this class.

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