Florida Football Countdown 'Til Kickoff: 7) Ronald Powell Ready to Buck Things Up

By Brett Kaplan

It’s down to one single week, 7 days until the Florida Gators open up play against the Florida Atlantic Owls. These are my top 20 reasons to be excited about this upcoming season. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment.

Ronald Powell came to the University of Florida as the number one recruit in the nation, on college footballs number one recruiting class, with a group of defensive players that some have called the best defensive recruiting class in history. Follow defensive line dubbed them the “Big 3” after the Miami Heat’s Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. They certainly didn’t live up to expectations, but now they’re primed for success.

The best thing that happened to Ronald Powell was head coach Will Muschamp. In Muschamp’s defenses, there are versatile defenders that can put their hand on the ground and line up on the defensive line, or drop back to a the linebacker position. Powell happens to be a perfect fit for that position, dubbed the “Buck”. At 6’4″ 248 lbs, Powell can run a 4.5 40 yard dash. And his speed off the line is explosive. When he drops to the linebacker position, he’ll either be rushing the quarterback or dropping back into coverage.

Powell’s size, speed, and athleticism seem to be tailor made for Muschamp’s defense. Past stars include Brian Orakpo, Sergio Kindle, Bradie James, and Quentin Groves. The Buck position is a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position that is designed to wreak havoc all over the football field. Now that Powell has matured, he can join those elite names and become one of the best defensive players in the country. My prediction for this season: Powell has eight sacks and about 70 tackles. He will be a game changer and x-factor for the Gators this season. The best part is, he’s only a sophomore so he has two years of eligibility left after this year. Powell can be a star at the next level, much like Jason Taylor (who was with the Dolphins when Muschamp was the defensive coordinator for them under Nick Saban):

“I really believe this is a position I can play here and if I’m fortunate enough to play on the next level, I can play it there, too. It gives me a lot of freedom to disguise, but I still have a job description.”

Well said Ronald. Now show it on the field and help make this defense one of the best in the country.

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