TAMPA – One of the most successful pass rushers in Hillsborough County has major expectations for himself and his team heading into this season. His name is Demetrius Powell.
The rising senior is aiming for 25 sacks for Blake in a hybrid role as a defensive end and middle linebacker. The 6’0″, 215-pounder has put on 15 lbs. this off-season and is aiming to reach the 220-mark before the regular season opens up.
Despite going 4-6 a season ago, Powell says the Yellow Jackets are looking like a state football team right now.
“We look good. I like us to go undefeated and beat Armwood,” Powell told Prep Sports Scouting. “We aren’t going to be anyone’s doormat.”
Despite missing three games as a junior due to a sprained right meniscus, he put up big-time numbers with 60 tackles (20 for a loss), 16.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
He says his knee feels 100 percent right now.
Powell says he gained his confidence during his sophomore year when he recorded 2 1/2 sacks against Armwood.
As a sophomore, he recorded 62 tackles (14 for a loss), 15 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a fumble recovery. Powell started the last couple of games in the season as a freshman where he said he loved going up against former Hillsborough star and current Virginia Tech quarterback Dwyane Lawson.
“I’m determined that no one is better than me. That’s how I play. Whoever lines up against me, I’m determined to get the ball.”
Head coach Adam Hill enters his second season as the man in charge at Blake. He said that Powell has stepped up his game this off-season despite his issues with injuries over the last few months. He even went as far as to say that he thinks that Powell is the best pass rusher in all of Hillsborough county.
“He’s been around the program every day. He’s a motivator,” Hill said. “As far as on the field, he has the best first step of any defensive end or outside linebacker as far as a pass rusher that I’ve seen personally. He plays with leverage.”
Powell called playing for Hill “something new.”
“He brings a new atmosphere, a new beginning to Blake. He brings a college atmosphere.”
Turning the program around, Hill said that getting guys like Powell to help everyone buy in will make Year 2 a fun one.
“He’s a smart kid, but he’s also an amicable kid. Everyone likes him,” Hill said. “He always got a smile on his face. He’s one of those kids that walks around and lights up the room when he comes into it. He’s got that work ethic and drive that everyone wants to follow.”
Starting his football career at age 4 as a quarterback, Powell moved to middle linebacker three years later.
As for his biggest strengths, Powell pointed to his football IQ and initial step off the snap. Coach Hill likes his violent hands the most.
Since Powell will be taking over as the play caller of the defense, he’s looking to improve his ability to read coverages at linebacker and perfect his moves as a defensive end.
Amazingly Powell has yet to receive his first offer. However, he has drawn interest from Indiana, Cincinnati, Toledo, UCF, USF and Northwestern Missouri State.
His two role models in his life are NFL players, Green Bay linebacker Sam Barrington and Philadelphia wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
Powell says that he’s known Barrington since age 8 when his mom worked at USF. He considers him a mentor who is a big brother to him.
Agholor grew up in the same apartment complex as Powell and the two waited at the bus stop together daily.
“It feels great,” he said about watching them in the NFL. “It makes me feel like I can achieve the same things that they’ve achieved.”
His ultimate goal is to make it to the NFL. He plans to major in agriculture in college and wants to be a football coach one day.
Powell did a whole lot of damage in only seven games last season. With rehab behind him and health on his side, I fully expect him to have a monstorous senior campaign.
Demetrius Powell is a fun kid to talk to. You can tell he likes to have fun wherever he goes especially when he’s out on the football field. He deserves offers awfully soon.
Favorite players to watch – Von Miller, Eric Striker, Sam Barrington, Clay Matthews, Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander
Playlist before games – YFN Lucci, Yo Gotti, Lil Bucci, French Montana
Favorite movies – Set it Off, Friday
Favorite TV shows – Power
Fun fact about you that no one knows – “I’m never mad. I’m always happy.
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Gigman”, “Goggles”
Game film: Powell’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Tampa Bay Times
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at email@example.com.