Over the next 28 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at redshirt freshman linebacker Jeremi Powell.
An extremely athletic outside linebacker from Largo, Fla. Powell chose Florida over Alabama, South Carolina and USF. Powell’s recruitment was one of the least exciting to follow in his class. He committed to Florida early on in the process and shut things down completely after that.
Powell spent his first season in Gainesville contributing on the scout team, where he earned player of the week honors five times. He was the Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Week for the weeks leading into games against Kentucky, South Carolina and Jacksonville State and Defensive Scout Team Player of the Week leading into the games against LSU and Florida State.
Powell has earned praise from Will Muschamp for doing things the right way and for his effort both on and off the field.
Powell is a very athletic linebacker who also played tight end and running back in high school. In high school, Powell mainly played with his hand in the ground but has since moved to Sam linebacker at Florida.
Powell’s biggest asset is his sound tackling and technique and speed. When he plays up on the line of scrimmage he uses his quickness and hands to get past offensive linemen. In space, Powell uses his speed to close ground and when he gets his hands on the ball carrier, they’re going down.
Powell’s biggest weakness is his size. He was listed at 6’2”, 200-pounds coming out of high school – much smaller than what Florida looks for at the position. He has done a decent job of adding size to his frame – and is now listed at 210 pounds. He will need to continue to fill out his long frame in order to be able to hold up throughout an entire SEC schedule.
What to Expect
Powell’s mixture of size, speed, tackling ability and athleticism make him a no-brainer to contribute right away on special teams. Powell is the kind of player that will attack whatever role he is given with a full head of steam and could begin to introduce himself to Gator fans this fall on special teams.
Will Muschamp notified the media that Neiron Ball would play some middle linebacker this fall. If that is a move in response to Antonio Morrison’s arrest and suspension or if it is a permanent move, remains to be seen. If Ball does move from Sam to Mike, it would create more room in the rotation at SAM for Powell behind the other Powell on the roster, Ronald.