By Chris Hays | Orlando Sentinel
4:03 AM EST, January 1, 2013
After the Under Armour All-American Game on Friday, Daytona Beach Mainland linebacker Quinton Powell will have quite the itinerary set up as he tries to squeeze in several official visits in the remaining 35 days before National Signing Day, which is Feb. 6.
Powell, the former Florida pledge who decommitted from the Gators recruiting class in early December, will visit Southern Cal on Jan. 18 and then follow that up with a trip to South Carolina. He will also be visiting Miami and Oregon this month but has yet to solidify his plans.
Close friend and former Mainland teammate Leonard Williams, a freshman defensive end at USC this season, was named the Pac-12 freshman defensive player of the year following a very successul rookie college campaign and that success was not lost on Powell.
"It just shows that if you work hard good things can happen for you. To be named defensive player of the year, that's pretty impressive," said Powell, who also said Williams' knowledge of the USC program will benefit him greatly as he continues to his college search. "Coaches tend to do their job and tell you about the things they want you to hear. He's in the program now and he can tell me about all of the good things and the bad things about it. It will definitely help."
He is surrounded by a slew of Florida commitments in the UA game, with the Gators being the most represented college among those players who have committed. Florida has seven pledges on the roster, while next is Alabama with six and Ohio State with five.
Powell said he's been pestered quite often by his former fellow pledges, who are safety Marcell Harris (injured and will not play Friday) of Orlando Dr. Phillips, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III of Tampa Wharton, receiver Alvin Bailey of Seffner Armwood, linebacker Matt Rolin (injured) of Ashburn (va.) Briar Woods, runing back Kelvin Taylor of Belle Glade Glades Day, safety Keanu Neal of Bushnell South Sumter, and offensive tackle Caleb Brantley of Crescent City.
"Oh yeah. They've been pestering me a lot. They've been all over me," Powell said of the Gators, who he said are also still in the mix for his services.
Powell is coming off a stellar carer as a three-year starter at Mainland High, during which the Bucs fell one game shy of the Class 6A state title game in 2011 and then were eliminated in that 6A quarterfinals this past season.
"A lot of seniors tend to freeze up their senior year, but I felt like I did OK ... worked hard, produced on the field and to a certain extent carried my team as long as I could," said Powell, who was a late addition to the Under Armour roster.
He had committed to playing in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game in July, which is also being played on Friday (9 p.m.) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Once the Under Armour folks came calling, however, Powell was on board with the St. Pete game.
He talked about how he tried to avoid falling into the lull that some players do once they have committed to their college of choice prior to or during their senior seasons.
"A lot of times athletes tend to work harder when they want that scholarship," said Powell,who went through his entire senior season as a Gator pledge, "but once they got it, a lot of times commits tend to get a little bit complacent."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.
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