Ronald Powell, top recruit in Florida Gators history, dead at 32

The No. 1 prospect in the 2010 class later had a brief stint with the Bucs.
Ronald Powell was the top-rated recruit in Florida Gators football history.
Ronald Powell was the top-rated recruit in Florida Gators football history. [ Times (2011) ]
Published Jan. 16|Updated Jan. 16

Ronald Powell, the Florida Gators’ highest-rated recruit in the modern recruiting era, has died. He was 32.

Powell was the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit and headliner in Urban Meyer’s 2010 class, which ranked first in the country. He later spent part of the 2015 season on the Bucs’ practice squad.

His playing career was defined, in part, by what could have been. He was the MVP of the national high school showcase now called the U.S. Army Bowl and was productive at Florida, starting 21 games over four seasons. But he never lived up to the five-star billing. Powell had 84 tackles (19 for a loss) and 11 sacks with the Gators.

The California native was drafted by the Saints in the fifth round (No. 169) of the 2014 NFL draft. He had two tackles in 14 games with New Orleans as a rookie, then brief stints with the Bucs, Bears and Seahawks.

The Gators and NFL Players Association announced the news Tuesday, a day after former Saints teammate Junior Galette posted about Powell’s death on social media. Galette wrote that Powell was an “EXCELLENT FATHER” as well as a “Respected Brother and a Loving Son.”

Details of Powell’s death were not immediately available.

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