With seven offers in hand, Waldorf (Md.) Westlake defensive end Darius Powell decided to take an unofficial visit to the lone school to offer from the ACC.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder took an unofficial visit to North Carolina last week. What did he think about the Tar Heels?
"That was the best visit I've had out of all the schools I've been to. I like that school the most right now," he said. "I mean the coaches, players; they treat each other really well. You can tell the coaching staff really cares about the players and they are looking out for them.
"The coaches were exactly like my high school coach, it seemed like I knew them for a long time. They are the best coaches I've met so far. I got to talk to coach Bunting on the phone and he told me he really wanted to see me graduate with a degree from North Carolina, he thought it would help me a lot in the future. They stress academics a lot there and it was very easy to get along with everybody. I could see myself there for four years."
Syracuse also received a recent visit from Powell.
"Coach Cross and White are the main people that influenced me most at Syracuse," he said. "A lot of their players are from where I live in Maryland and they are easy to talk to."
Finishing off his recent visits, the lineman stopped by Maryland's junior camp.
"That was fun. I got to talk to coach Friedgen and they thought they're about to offer me," he said. "They were really happy with my performance at the camp. I did well, I beat about half the players in one-on-one drills and I ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash. That wasn't my fastest time because I wasn't really warmed up and ready to go. I also had a 38-inch vertical and the coaches were really impressed with that."
Powell's top three schools right now are Maryland, Syracuse and North Carolina. Both Maryland and North Carolina really impressed the star lineman during the recent evaluation period.
"Maryland and North Carolina showed the most interest in me and they wanted to get to know me more and build a relationship. I've gotten to know them better," he said. "Maryland's been on top of my list because they are close to home and they have a strong academic program."
The other school still in the running for the defensive end's services is Illinois.
"I talked to coach Zook and things went really with them."
Does this mean that Powell is down to just four schools?
"It's still wide open, but I'm looking forward to making a commitment in September. That's what my family, coach and I are planning on."
This summer Powell is taking visits to Akron, Illinois and Syracuse.
"I'm going to be looking to see when I'll be able to play, the academics at the schools and just looking at the colleges to see if I can really live there for four years of my life. Those are the most important things for me," he said. "I'm working on my strength and speed so that I can be even more of a dominant player. I want to be ready to play at the next level and potentially play as a freshman."
Powell recorded 68 tackles, 13 for loss, 10 sacks three fumble recoveries and seven deflected passes. He went on to be named second team all-conference.