It didn’t take long for Deerfield Beach, Florida native Brandon Powell to dramatically change his future. Shortly after decommitting from Tennessee Saturday night, the speedy running back committed to join the Miami Hurricanes‘ class of 2014.
The 5-foot-9, 169-pound three-star athlete had been committed to the Volunteers since June, but decided he wanted to stay in-state and chose the Hurricanes. While some recruiting services have him listed as an athlete, he’ll start his career at Miami as a running back.
Powell is dynamic with the ball in his hands, showing great vision and balance to go with his blazing speed. He won’t be able to be an every-down back thanks to his diminutive stature, but he could become a viable threat on third down, especially in the pass game. Offensive coordinator James Coley will have to get creative to get him into space because he is extremely dangerous in the open field.
He has shown great acceleration and the ability to find the slightest creases in defenses. At the collegiate level, he will likely also have the opportunity to display his talents on special teams.
The obvious knock on Powell is his limited size. Not only is he short, but he has a small frame that he won’t be able to add much weight to. His skill set alone would rank him considerably higher in this class, but he doesn’t project as well as some running backs because he’s so small.
However, there are countless examples of running backs who were undervalued because teams feared they’d be too small to play in college. The Miami Hurricanes obviously don’t share that fear, and if he proves durable enough, he could be a weapon for the Canes in the coming years.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.