IN THE HUDDLE: Markevious Powell

By now, you see that FloridaKids.us is not like the other sites who continue to bring you the same elite players over and over again. We travel the entire state looking for athletes on the rise, and over the years, have come up with football players nobody has ever heard about. Today, we introduce you to yet another rising star!

During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Markevious Powell
POSITION: DB
SCHOOL: Orlando Evans
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 178
40 SPEED: 4.5
HEAD COACH: Max Purcell
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: Not rated

Sit down and talk with "Kebo" Powell, as his friends call him, and he will simply boggle your mind with football knowledge. Names, years, stats, positions and just about everything any ardent football enthusiast wants to know, he has the answers.

Just as you shake the disbelief from your head, Powell then tells you where he grew up, and then you understand just why he can recite players from 15 years ago – or tell you how good Ricky Jackson, Fred Taylor, Anquan Bolden or Reidel Anthony were in high school.

Powell is a "Muck" child. The Pahokee and Glades Central kind of Muck. Growing up in Pahokee on the shadows of the famed Lake Okeechobee, football is not just a sport, and it's not just a religion. Football is simply everything.

"Until I was 14, I never missed a Muck Bowl," Powell said. "You live for that game, and no matter what side you happen to root for, losing is never an option."

Friday nights are unlike no other day of the week when you live on the banks of Lake Okeechobee. It's where football fans meet one another to brag for the week, which team is better and what school produces more talent. Conversation is always lively!

At the age of 14, Francis Harley moved her grandson from the streets of Pahokee to Orlando. Small town, where everyone knew one another and respected each other for what they did on the football field, to large city with those big city values, where you are just another body in a sea of quality athletes.

"My grandmother thought that there was less opportunity for me to get in trouble," Powell recalled. "Although I miss everyone back there, the move seemed to work out for the best."

It has taken Powell two full years to fit in to the ways of the bigger city, and while his heart is still with the Blue Devils of Pahokee, who won two straight state titles, it is time for this gifted football player to leave that all behind and make a mark with the Trojans.

STRENGTHS: Coming from a community like Pahokee offers no guarantees that the doors will swing wide open for you. Such was the case two years ago, when he played wide receiver and defensive back at the junior varsity level.

Last season, while Powell was primarily a backup, he did have the chance to play free safety, cornerback and strong safety, which opened plenty of eyes.

While I like what he does at the safety position, this definitely a cover-corner prospect who has the demeanor to play the position. He loves to play the position, and it shows.

Watch him play and you'll understand why athletes such as Rod Woodson and Antrel Rolle are role models he continues to follow.

This is a defensive back who does not give in. He is physical, closes on the receiver quickly and lays a hit to remember. He also plays the run extremely well.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: There is little doubt that colleges will hesitate at first because of his lack of overall experience. But I guarantee that once they watch his ball skills, ability to understand the secondary from any position and the fact that he is a student of the game, the decision will be easy.

OVERALL: I have a soft spot in my heart for a high school football player who can not only play the sport, but fully understands the game and the people who play it.

From the first time I spoke with him, I was sold on the fact that this is someone who comes from a football background and recalls the players who competed.

The very fact that he remains close with childhood friend Ricky Gary of Pahokee, and talks with him plenty during the course of the week, makes me believe that this is someone who will continue to grab the spotlight and have the colleges watching. He just has a passion to play and get better.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: Everyone has the right to dream a little as Powell is looking at FSU, Florida and Iowa. But he is also leaving his options open with UCF and Florida Atlantic as places he would like to visit as well.

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE – BILLY LOWE
IN THE HUDDLE – JAVON HILL
IN THE HUDDLE – CODY CLINTON
IN THE HUDDLE – JARED MARTIN
IN THE HUDDLE – COLIN MCCARTHY
IN THE HUDDLE - DONTAE JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - DAMON PIFER
IN THE HUDDLE - CHRIS SORCE
IN THE HUDDLE - SHOMARI GRANT
IN THE HUDDLE - DARRELL ROSEMAN
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES POE
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - COURTNEY JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - BRYAN THOMAS
IN THE HUDDLE - JORDAN DALRYMPLE
IN THE HUDDLE - PRESTON PARKER
IN THE HUDDLE - SABBATH JOSEPH
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN KHAWLY
IN THE HUDDLE - BRANDON JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE - KEITH HOUSTON
IN THE HUDDLE - REGGIE ODOM
IN THE HUDDLE - C.J. SPILLER
IN THE HUDDLE - RILEY COOPER
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES JAMISON
IN THE HUDDLE - DESMOND GEE
IN THE HUDDLE - RICKY GARY
IN THE HUDDLE - LAURANCE MARIUS
IN THE HUDDLE - KENRICK ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - RICHARD JACKSON
IN THE HUDDLE - LABRANDON GLOVER

Sun State Football Top Stories