Jeremi Powell hears the name calling, but he does not care. Committed since February, Powell enjoys the light-hearted jabs he receives from friends. People call him ‘Gator meat’ and ‘Mr. Gator,’ but Powell wouldn’t have it any other way.
The linebacker from Largo, Fla., participated in Friday Night Lights, which to him was an experience he will always remember.
“It means so much. Right now I am just bleeding orange and blue,” Powell said. “It is insane, I am so proud.”
The showcase was the first-ever camp for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker. While prospects took part in drills, music blasted through the stadium, making for a pumped-up atmosphere.
“It gave you a blood rush,” Powell said. “My adrenaline gave me goose bumps.”
Powell also found a potential roommate in fellow linebacker commit Lorenzo Phillips. Powell said that the two became buddies and competed the entire night.
Like committed running back Matt Jones and cornerback Brian Poole, Jr., Powell served as a recruiter Friday night to try and build the 2012 recruiting class. Top prospects present included wide receiver Stefon Diggs and defensive end Jordan Jenkins.
At only 200 pounds, Powell does not fit the mold of the prototypical college linebacker. While weight is an aspect of his game Powell needs to improve, it was his coverage skills that were put up to the test Friday night, something the linebacker said he is not used to having to perfect.
Friday, though, was the perfect experience, according to Powell. He received a tour of the stadium earlier Friday and could not have scripted the showcase any better. This also marked a first. Powell had never camped before at a school.
“This was better than I imagined it to be,” he said. “I got my first spandex shirt with numbers on it. It is my first one, I am pretty excited.”
Powell remains loyal to the Gators and sometimes slaps himself to make sure the possibility of attending the University of Florida and playing for the Gators is real. When asked for a percentage value of how strong his commitment stands with the Gators, Powell replied with an amount of 5000 percent — as high as the bar can go.
There was one downside for Powell Friday night, though.
“I wish it didn’t end. I could do this all day,” Powell said. “I love this. I love Florida.”