It may be easy for some to look at the laid-back, comical attitude of Florida defensive end Ronald Powell as overly casual, but it’s those qualities that have defensive line prospects like Quinteze Williams and Jordan Jenkins intrigued about the possibility of playing with him in Gainesville.
Williams, who has already committed to the Gators, and Jenkins, who has Alabama and Florida out in front in his recruitment, both look at the playful Powell as an enjoyable person to be around.
Jenkins said Powell always has a friendly jab or two when they talk as the current Gator likes to tease Jenkins on being too slow, not being big enough, and thinking he doesn’t have to work out to steal Powell’s Buck position.
“It was all just friendly type of stuff,” said Jenkins, the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder from Harris County High School in Hamilton, Ga.
Jenkins did not participate in the activities the Gators hosted at Friday Night Lights, but said his experience went well because of the time he spent with other players at the event.
“It was pretty fun,” Jenkins said. “I never really got to spend time with many players so spending time with them was just enjoyable.”
The weakside defensive end has Alabama as his current front-runner, but has Florida alongside the Crimson Tide in a solid top two. Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee round out his top five in order.
Jenkins said he’s going to wait sometime between the middle of his senior season and December to fully commit, but that’s not stopping the likes of Powell, Williams and running back commit Matt Jones from persuading him to join the orange and blue.
Williams, in particular, has been recruiting Jenkins as the two are familiar with each other from participating in the National Underclassmen Football Combines since their freshman year, and as roommates during the Rising Senior Games this past January.
“The coaches definitely want him,” Williams said. “I would definitely love for him to be on the other side of the ball with me.”
Williams, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound strongside defensive end from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia, participated in the event and said he enjoys getting to know other recruits and seeing how strong their commitments are.
He also said having familiarity with the players is something that’s important to him going forward.
“Like everybody says, it’s a family thing,” Williams said. “The more you’ve been around somebody, the more comfortable you are around them so that plays a big part into it.”
One of those players he’s grown more familiar with since committing to Florida in March has been Powell.
“Ever since I committed, I visit Florida often and I talk to Ronald,” Williams said. “He kind of mentors me when I’m down here and tells me how it’s going to be and what to expect.”
Powell took that mentor position to heart on the field when he told Williams to “pick it up” during a drill.
At first, Williams thought it was just another joke, but Powell stuck to his message, adding it was a big brother, little brother situation.
“I kinda felt like a new door opened up for me and him so when I see him now, it’s going to be more serious now than just jokes,” Williams said.
Gator Country reporter Safid Deen can be reached at Safid@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SafidDeenGC.