CAMP: Powe Looking to Fill Big Shoes

BERKELEY -- El Cerrito (Calif.) 2016 athlete Darius Powe works out on both sides of the ball, looking for the kind of Pac-12 recognition his teammates got last season. Plus, VIDEO of his performance in Berkeley.

BERKELEY -- Last season, El Cerrito (Calif.) had a stocked defensive backfield, with Arizona State-bound Jalen Harvey and UCLA-bound Adarius Pickett getting the lion's share of the playing time and the pub.

But, after gaining 34 pounds of muscle over the past year (going from 160 pounds to 194), the Gauchos have another weapon on defense that's starting to emerge in the person of Darius Powe.

"It was hard for me to get on the field," Powe said this weekend at California's local-talent-heavy full-contact camp in Berkeley. "On offense, we had plenty of seniors, so as an underclassman, it humbled me. It made me sit back and say, ‘Next year, I can't let this happen. I've really got to come out here, grind and come hard.'"

Powe had just 12 tackles last season, but as he prepares for his junior campaign, that's set to change. Powe is also getting some big-time Pac-12 attention, though he has yet to score his first offer.

"No offers, but I've got plenty of colleges looking at me: USC, Arizona State, most definitely Cal, Michigan sent me a letter (but I'm not sure if they're looking at me), Colorado is looking at me, and that's it right now," said Powe, who worked out at corner, safety and wide receiver. "Most of them like me on the defensive side, at safety or linebacker, or corner. I can play everything on defense, except for the line. I want them to see me at both [offense and defense], because in college, I really want to play both. If it came down to it, if I got the most at defense, that's what I'm going to take."

With both Pickett and Harvey heavily considering the Bears last season (Harvey was a longtime commit before flipping later in the process), Cal has seen a lot of Powe – who bears the same name as the Bears' wide receiver.

"I talk to them every time I come up to the school, and every time they see me, they go, ‘You're back again, good to see you back again.' They want me to touch the ball a lot, too, so I feel like they like me," said Powe, who worked primarily with defensive backs coach Greg Burns, wide receivers coach Rob Likens and inside receivers coach Mark Tommerdahl. "I've been working with the receiver coaches, and the tight end coach. I've been working with him, I worked with him last year, and he kind of remembers me. My brother goes here, so that's going to bring a big communication."

That brother? Wide receiver Dezhon Grace, who's walking on at Cal.

The Bears are far from the only school involved though, as the Sun Devils and the Trojans, Powe feels, are close to offering.

The only thing holding Powe back this summer has been a broken wrist, suffered at the NFTC event on the campus of Chabot College in Hayward, Calif.

"I went up with Rodney Washington -- my own teammate -- for a jump ball in the end zone," Powe said. "I was at receiver, he was at corner. I went up, and he bumped me in the air, so I lost all control. I landed wrong, chipped two bones on both sides on my left wrist. That's why they call me lefty out here. It's fully healed. I feel like I'm at 80 percent. There's no pain when I catch the ball. Every time I tackle, there's no pain. It's just mental."

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