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View Full Version : Chiefs Jerrell Powe's pluck pays off for Ole Miss


mikey23545
04-30-2011, 03:55 PM
About a month ago, Ole Miss senior defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, dressed impeccably from head to toe, sat on a podium surrounded by reporters at the Southeastern Conference's preseason media days.

Cameras were focused on him from every angle. A dozen tape recorders sat inches from his mouth. Writers leaned forward to hear his every word.

He was funny. He was honest. He was observant. He was engaging. He was clear and concise.

And no matter what Powe did on the field last year, which was good enough to earn second-team All-SEC honors, or what he is projected to accomplish this season as preseason All-SEC first teamer, his appearance that day before the media mob was a personal victory.

"It's exciting to be here," he said. "I hope everyone reads this like they read all the bad stuff."

The start of the bad stuff came when Powe, one of the nation's top five defensive tackles as a senior in 2004 at Wayne County High in Waynesboro, Miss., was declared academically ineligible three times to enter Ole Miss. He was finally diagnosed with learning disabilities, including dyslexia.

And then his mother filed a suit (which she later dropped) to get him admitted to Ole Miss, with one court document quoting her as saying her child could not read ("She was quoted wrong," Powe said). Plus, once he was finally admitted, he had to pay his way and prove himself academically though he wasn't allowed to practice.

He was in terrible physical shape, a blubbery 383 pounds, when he finally was cleared to play for the Rebels in late July 2008.

Now, Powe is 70 pounds lighter and, at 315, is a first-round NFL prospect. He's a well-liked and respected team leader who often cooks for his teammates, a necessity he learned in a single-parent home from his working mother.

Look at Powe's past academic struggles and it's understandable that the NCAA would question his transcripts and test scores. But fast forward to the present and one can conclude that the NCAA couldn't judge Powe's drive to succeed.

"Anybody could have stopped after the first time or second time or third time when he couldn't get in school," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said of Powe "But this guy keeps going, keeps going. He has drive for excellence, whether in the classroom, on the football field and the weight room.

"Professors like him, his name never shows up on any lists (for missing class). He loves his teammates and his teammates love him. He's got a heart bigger than Vaught-Hemingway (Stadium)."

Powe felt like he didn't have an option to fail, especially after the media reports about his academic shortcomings.

"All the guys who said those (negative) things definitely motivated me," Powe said. "It was definitely disappointing to see my Momma continually quoted wrong in the paper. But after awhile, I understood the only way to erase all that is to be successful."

The first step was improving his grades. David Wells, Ole Miss' senior associate athletics director for compliance, said he'd never seen an athlete so determined to get into school. So he figured Powe would have a fighting chance to succeed.

"Jerrell has worked very hard to take advantage of the resources we've offered," Wells said. "He has shown a great deal of perseverance."

Especially in the weight room, since re-shaping his once-bloated body has been a work in progress. The 6-2 Powe played at about 350 pounds last season, finally getting back some of the athletic ability he displayed in high school and during a post-high school season in 2005 at Hargrave Military Academy.

Every time Powe gets the urge to go on an eating binge, all he needs to do is remember how miserable he had been with too many layers of flab.

"It was a terrible feeling," Powe said. "I couldn't fit in clothes. I had no energy. I ran barefoot because shoes hurt my feet."

He did something about his weight, but it wasn't easy. Ole Miss strength and conditioning coach Don Decker can testify to that.

"When we started working with Powe, you have this vision of where it could go, but you wonder if it can get there," said Decker, who entrusted Powe's body transformation to assistant strength coach Jason Wilfawn. "When you see a guy embrace it like Powe did and continue to rise to the challenge of every goal we set for him, to see him the way he handles conditioning now and to see him like the way he looks in front of a mirror, it's a priceless feeling.

"But Powe gets every ounce of the credit. We didn't run the sprints or run on the treadmill, or say no to the foods he wanted to eat at times. He did all that. It was his sweat, his sacrifice, his commitment."

Though Powe played in 12 games in 2008, he still wasn't close to game shape. It wasn't until late last season when Powe, who started 10 games and made 34 tackles including 12 for losses (tied for eighth in the SEC), began feeling like himself.

"The last couple of years were very hard, because losing all that weight was like rehabbing an injury," Powe said. "You know you can play better, but you have to take it one day at a time."

But everything has returned. His quick first step. His fast, strong hands to shed blockers. The speed to track down ball carriers (he has run down from behind Jesse Grandy and Devin Thomas, two of Ole Miss' fastest players).

If Powe stays healthy and plays as he expects -- "I feel like I'm working hard enough to be the best defensive linemen in the country," he said -- he should get showered with NFL dollars.

But in the meantime, he's going to enjoy every snap for the school he fought so hard to attend.

"Ten, 15, 20 years from now, it doesn't matter what Jerrell is doing," Nutt said. "This kid is going to be a great ambassador for this school. He loves Ole Miss."

POWE'S POWER

Name: Jerrell Powe

Personal: Age 23, hometown is Waynesboro, Miss., son of Shirley Powe

The essentials: Ole Miss senior defensive tackle, 6-2, 315 pounds after losing almost 70 pounds the last two seasons. Denied admission three times to Ole Miss, but now on track to graduate as a criminal justice major. Can apply with NCAA to get an additional year of eligibility restored if needed, but projected as a first-round NFL draft choice if he has an outstanding season.

On the field: Has played in 25 games in two years, started 10 games last season. Has 42 career tackles, including 15 1/2 for losses. Used as a fullback to block in Ole Miss' goalline offense, he got two carries last year for no yards. His goal this year is to score a touchdown.

Digging deeper: Loves to cook and does so for his teammates. Jambalaya and pasta salad are a couple of his specialties and he also likes to bake. "I learned to cook from my Mom," Powe said. "She was a single parent and we couldn't wait for her to get home so we could eat. So I cooked."

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/aug/26/powes-pluck-pays-off-for-rebs/

Douche Baggins
04-30-2011, 04:00 PM
Digging deeper: Loves to cook and does so for his teammates. Jambalaya and pasta salad are a couple of his specialties and he also likes to bake. "I learned to cook from my Mom," Powe said. "She was a single parent and we couldn't wait for her to get home so we could eat. So I cooked."


A fat guy who loves to cook healthy food.

Fucking amazing. Maybe he won't balloon up to 380 like these guys always seem to in the NFL.

Tylerthigpen!1!
04-30-2011, 04:17 PM
Nice to see that he majored in something else besides Communications.

BigRock
04-30-2011, 04:21 PM
How many Ole Miss players has Pioli drafted now? Someone wants to bang Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Old Dog
04-30-2011, 04:24 PM
Great read. Thanks for posting it.

mikey23545
04-30-2011, 04:26 PM
Great read. Thanks for posting it.

Well, it sounds like there may be more to Powe than just being some dumb, fat redneck like many are implying.

Douche Baggins
04-30-2011, 04:27 PM
The fact that he's already been too fat is probably a huge deal. More likely to be committed to staying fat instead of insanely obese.

acesn8s
04-30-2011, 04:31 PM
42 career tackles? What a baller!

ChiefsCountry
04-30-2011, 04:33 PM
42 career tackles? What a baller!

Since nose tackles make so many tackles anyways.

mikey23545
04-30-2011, 04:33 PM
42 career tackles? What a baller!

Well, this was written before the 2010 season.

Rain Man
04-30-2011, 04:34 PM
So if we need him to bulk up to 380 it sounds like he can do it. Excellent.

mikey23545
04-30-2011, 04:36 PM
A preseason All-America honoree as a senior, Powe was among the candidates for the Rotary Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy and was chosen as a Team Captain by his teammates. Despite often facing double teams, Powe amassed 27 total tackles, 8.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks in 2010, including 1.5 sacks at No. 8 Alabama.

Von Dumbass
04-30-2011, 04:36 PM
42 career tackles? What a baller!

Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

ChiefsCountry
04-30-2011, 04:39 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

Grownups are talking, please leave.

mikey23545
04-30-2011, 04:40 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

You're just pretending to be this stupid, aren't you?

Mr. Arrowhead
04-30-2011, 04:41 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

Charles will have fun running up the middle on your swiss cheese defense

Jethopper
04-30-2011, 04:41 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

Ready for another #2 pick next year I see

mikey23545
04-30-2011, 04:45 PM
Who says they have to settle for number 2?

BossChief
04-30-2011, 04:54 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFLAll of our linemen now are very good run blockers and all of your players in the front 7 are bad run defenders and Miller is another one.

We will be able to target either end in the run game and be successful.

I think 200+ yards rushing every game for us against you guys is to be expected.

STAY DOWN, BITCH!



(start prepping for next years top five)

Bowser
04-30-2011, 04:56 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks in college. ROFL

Powe will eat Von Miller.

buddha
04-30-2011, 04:59 PM
You're just pretending to be this stupid, aren't you?

It would be nice to think so, but sadly I think it's real.

ChiefsCountry
04-30-2011, 04:59 PM
Who says they have to settle for number 2?

You don't want them to have Andrew Luck.

Bowser
04-30-2011, 05:01 PM
You don't want them to have Andrew Luck.

With Elway General Managing Tebow, Tebow is a sure fire lock for the Hall of Fame. Knowmo told me so.

Von Dumbass
04-30-2011, 05:03 PM
All of our linemen now are very good run blockers and all of your players in the front 7 are bad run defenders and Miller is another one.

We will be able to target either end in the run game and be successful.

I think 200+ yards rushing every game for us against you guys is to be expected.

STAY DOWN, BITCH!



(start prepping for next years top five)

Nate Irving, Robert Ayers, Kevin Vickerson, and Kris Jenkins are fantastic run defenders. DJ Williams and Von Miller aren't too shabby either, it's going to be nice having two guys at OLB who can flat out fly.

threebag02
04-30-2011, 05:03 PM
Von Miller almost had that many sacks banging against his ass in college. ROFL

fixed

Bowser
04-30-2011, 05:04 PM
Nate Irving, Robert Ayers, Kevin Vickerson, and Kris Jenkins are fantastic run defenders. DJ Williams and Von Miller aren't to shabby either, is going to be nice having two guys at OLB who can flat out fly.

Hahaha. No.

kysirsoze
04-30-2011, 05:05 PM
Great read. I know it's a fluff piece, but it makes me more excited to see how this dude develops.

Douche Baggins
04-30-2011, 05:06 PM
KnowMo doesn't realize the best way to neutralize speed is to run right at it...and unfortunately for the Broncos that's what EVERYONE is going to be doing to them all year long.

Denver's offense isn't going to be setting any records either, so teams aren't going to need to throw much to catch up against the Broncos.

Rausch
04-30-2011, 05:09 PM
With Elway General Managing Tebow, Tebow is a sure fire lock for the Hall of Fame. Knowmo told me so.

Get back to me after he's lost his first couple super bowls...

DeezNutz
04-30-2011, 05:09 PM
I hope Denver targets five more TEs in next year's class.

Von Dumbass
04-30-2011, 05:12 PM
KnowMo doesn't realize the best way to neutralize speed is to run right at it...and unfortunately for the Broncos that's what EVERYONE is going to be doing to them all year long.

Denver's offense isn't going to be setting any records either, so teams aren't going to need to throw much to catch up against the Broncos.

We had the fastest LB core in the NFL back when we had DJ Williams, Al Wilson, and Ian Gold and we had a couple top 10 run defenses with those guys.

Dumervil is the only "weak" run defender who will be starting on our defense.

scott free
04-30-2011, 05:36 PM
The Sports Illustrated breakdown on this guy had me scared, but the more i read, the more i love him.

We dont need a brain surgeon or Mr. Universe at NT, we need a football player... and this guy sounds like one.

milkman
04-30-2011, 05:37 PM
What this guy seems to have is something you rarely get with the guys asked to be space eaters.

Self motivation.

kysirsoze
04-30-2011, 05:38 PM
What this guy seems to have is something you rarely get with the guys asked to be space eaters.

Self motivation.

Yep. Working his way into school and losing that much weight shows a great deal of discipline.

DaFace
04-30-2011, 05:44 PM
Sounds like a good kid. Let's hope he continues to prove everyone wrong and ends up being an impact player.

scott free
04-30-2011, 06:13 PM
What this guy seems to have is something you rarely get with the guys asked to be space eaters.

Self motivation.

Exactly, he's had to work & earn himself into the position he's in.

He seems to have a lot of the same traits that keep the Michael Oher's & Tamba Hali's of the league playing at a high level... he's had to earn it & therefore doesnt take it for granted.

factortobe
05-01-2011, 05:03 AM
fixed

ROFL

mnchiefsguy
05-01-2011, 07:34 AM
What this guy seems to have is something you rarely get with the guys asked to be space eaters.

Self motivation.

Exactly. We got incredible value with this pick, even if he does not become a stud NT. If he becomes better than what we had last year, then this pick is a great one.

beach tribe
05-01-2011, 08:33 AM
You're just pretending to be this stupid, aren't you?

No. No, He's not.

He is honestly comparing a NTs numbers to an edge rushers.

Nuff Said.

beach tribe
05-01-2011, 08:35 AM
We had the fastest LB core in the NFL back when we had DJ Williams, Al Wilson, and Ian Gold and we had a couple top 10 run defenses with those guys.

Dumervil is the only "weak" run defender who will be starting on our defense.

You have dog shit for a D-line.