Quinton Powell, Daytona Beach Mainland, committed to University of Florida for 2013 class.

Quinton Powell, Daytona Beach Mainland, committed to University of Florida for 2013 class. (CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL / June 4, 2012)

Mainland's athletic, do-it-all defensive stalwart Quinton Powell has committed to play for the Florida Gators.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Powell picked the Gators over early offers from Florida State, Clemson, Purdue, Miami, USF, Vanderbilt and about 10 other schools. Powell, ranked No. 7 in the Sentinel's 2013 Florida Top 100 has an explosive burst off the ball and the quickness not seen in a lot of linebackers/defensive ends.

Reached by phone in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon, Powell tried to answer questions as well-wishers offered congratulations in the background.

"I really am happy," said Powell, who attended Saturday's junior day event with his father. "Just the fact that I felt at home ... that was the main thing that I was looking for and I feel right at home here. I was looking for a family and I found it right here. ... plus, I've always been Gator fan."

Powell said he learned plenty about the recruiting process as he watched friend and teammate Leonard Williams go through it before the big defensive end signed with Southern Cal on signing day.

"That whole process was really stressful to him and to a certain degree he had a lot to do with why I wanted to get this done early," Powell said. "I wanted to avoid all of that my senior year and have all of my ducks in order."

Powell, who had 105 tackles, 14 sacks and 50 quarterback hurries for the Class 8A semifinalist, said he would like to graduate early in December, but at this point is not sure how he stands with regards to an early departure.

He is the third player to commit to the Gators today, as Belle Glade Glades Day RB Kelvin Taylor and St. Petersburg Lakewood WR Rodney Adams have also committed, giving the Gators seven early pledges to the 2013 class.

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.