ORLANDO -- I just got off the phone with University of Miami recruit Brandon Powell, a four-star running back who played for Deerfield Beach High School. Powell is graduating early to report to the Canes on Jan. 8th so he can start college and participate in spring practice.
He said he has cleared through the NCAA and just needs to get a copy of his transcript from DBHS after the winter break ends.
"I’m really excited because I start college soon and just to be on campus and get an early start, that can really help me,'' Powell told me. "It’s really beneficial. I get to learn the plays early, get a lot of reps, get bigger and faster."
Powell said he's 5-9 and weighs 170.
Powell watched the game on TV with his dad and grandmother.
"They started off the first series and it was good,'' he said, referring to the safety that occurred when Deon Bush sacked Teddy Bridgewater. "I was pumped up. But they couldn’t move the ball on offense and I thought ‘what’s happening?’ I thought they were going to crank it up after halftime but they just couldn’t do anything.’’
Despite the disappointing loss, Powell said he can't wait to begin his upcoming career with the Hurricanes.
"I committed to Miami because I feel like I can get on the field and play,'' Powell said. "After watching the bowl game and knowing that Duke [Johnson] is out, I feel like even more I can go out and help."
Powell, who said he also visited Tennessee, West Virginia and Nebraska, said he was most comfortable with the UM staff and players. He said he's "looking forward to learning from Duke Johnson and Dallas Crawford."
What message would he like to give to fellow recruits who were upset after the bowl game?
"Al Golden knows what he’s doing. He’s getting all those kids from South Florida. He’s getting the program back.
"Coach Golden plays freshmen."
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN