CONCORD, Calif. - There is no question Shaquille Powell is one of the top 2012 running backs in the West and the Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman standout also proved this past weekend he's thoughtful and mature even after his team loses.
Powell, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound prospect, finished with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in Bishop Gorman's 28-14 loss to Concord De La Salle but instead of lamenting the final score, Powell was thankful for having the opportunity to play such a tradition-rich program.
"I'm so proud," said Powell, who fumbled once and also had an interception while playing cornerback.
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"It's more than a win or a loss for me. I have all of my family here, there's a lot of support from Vegas and it's awesome. It's rare to get an opportunity to play De La Salle. Not a lot of people get that and I'm glad to get this opportunity."
Powell scored on a 2-yard run late in the first to tie the game at 7 but his finest play came on his 17-yard touchdown scamper early in the second when he powered his way through multiple De La Salle tacklers, sidestepped a few others and then sprinted to the end zone.
It looked like he was about to get tackled. One defender had him wrapped up. But Powell escaped and headed for the end zone.
It was probably the nicest play all game.
"I had the determination to score," Powell said. "I just wanted to give it my all. I just wanted to give my team everything I had out here on the field. That was my motivation. It was for my team."
The junior is off to a scintillating start to his season, totaling about 736 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in Bishop Gorman's five games.
The Gaels have lost twice but those defeats came to De La Salle and Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, one of the top teams in that state. In its three wins, Gorman has outscored its opponents, 149-13.
No verbal offers have arrived yet for Powell but he's so skilled that it's probably only a matter of time.
Cal and Florida State are two of his favorite schools but since it's still so early in his recruitment every team appeals to him. At this point, though, Powell is more focused on winning games at Gorman and said recruiting can wait until later.
"That's not really my main focus," Powell said. "I don't know. I don't have any offers. I'm hoping to get some but that's not my main focus right now. I want to get my team to state and win as much as we can, that's my mentality."