USF signee Powell starts class at junior college
Lake City Columbia running back Tiger Powell, who signed with USF in February, has started classes at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi, with hopes of joining the Bulls in January 2012.
"We're shooting for a year and a half here," said Steve Boyd, an assistant at Jones who said that Powell started summer classes at the school on Tuesday. "He's in school here now and can work in the weight room this summer, get adjusted to campus before we start practice in August."
Powell is the first member of USF's current recruiting class that won't be joining the Bulls this fall, though he was signed with the understanding that he might not qualify academically and could join the Bulls after playing in junior college. Powell was rated as a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, and is following the same path as his high school position coach, Quinton Callum, who played at Lake City and at Jones before starring at USF as a running back from 2001-02.
While Powell's absence is not unexpected for the Bulls, it continues a trend this spring of taking away from what was once one of USF's deepest positions. Seniors Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor are no longer in the program, sophomore Lindsey Lamar moved to receiver and senior Aston Samuels' status is uncertain after injuring his ankle in spring drills.
USF has two running backs expected to join the team this fall in junior college transfer Mike Hayes and freshman Marcus Shaw. They'll join senior Mo Plancher, the likely starter, as well as backups Demetris Murray and Bradley Battles and walk-on Joel Miller, who are the top four backs entering fall drills.
Jones returns its top running back from last season, Kwamaine "Bubba" Brown of Kissimmee Osceola, a former Kansas State signee who rushed for 638 yards in eight games as a freshman in 2009. Boyd said he has high expectations for Powell during his time with the Bobcats.
"He just got here, so it's hard to tell too much, but we don't bring in many out-of-state players unless they can really play," he said.
The Bulls' incoming recruits will report to campus in less than three weeks, taking classes during the second summer semester at USF before beginning two-a-day practices in August.