Outside linebacker Quinton Powell has announced that he will play his college football for USC beginning next season.
Powell must mature physically before he's ready to be an every-down contributor at the college level, but the potential is definitely there.
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he's the 14th-ranked outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 172 overall recruit in this year's class. He doesn't quite measure up to someone like No. 1 outside linebacker Jaylon Smith, but he's still a very talented player in his own right.
Powell weighs in at 6'2'' and 194 pounds, according to his 247Sports player profile, so it is obvious that he needs to get bigger. However, his 4.50 40-time shows why he could have upside as an edge-rusher pretty early on in his career.
Considering the premium placed on pass-rushers in football right now, that could benefit Powell very much down the road.
According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter Brian Linder, Powell decommitted from Florida on Dec. 10. Linder also mentions this:
Powell played mostly defensive end for Mainland this season, helping lead the Buccaneers to the Class 6A regional finals, where they lost 41-14 to Naples. He finished the year with 94 tackles and led the area in tackles for loss (34) and sacks (12).
Did Powell make the right decision?
Small or not, those numbers show you how dynamic this young man can be. Class 6A football isn't exactly Pee-Wee level, so it's safe to assume that he was forced to go up against much bigger offensive linemen, which will only help him with that challenge at the next level.
Another thing to gather from Linder's statement is that he played mostly defensive end. His versatility will help his future coaches plug him into multiple roles because of his ability to stand up and attack or put his hand in the dirt to play in the trenches.
Powell is an exciting player, even if he might need some work on a college weight program before he's ready to see the field on a full-time basis.
For now, USC has itself another top recruit with a bright future.