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August 10, 2010

Powell going hard early in camp

FALL PRACTICE COVERAGE: Cornering the market | Drayton pleased with backs | Teryl Austin Q&A | Coaches: Three best linebackers will play | Offense is a mystery | Offense builds around powerful line | Hill the next great UF safety? | Moody healthy, focused on 2010 | Azzanni talks receiver corps | Practice Notes & Quotes | Q&A with Brian White | Thompson ready to step up | Pouncey plans to lead with words, actions | Hunter's in shape, ready to roll | Urban's Overview: Player to transfer | UF focused, not fractured | Thursday Notebook: A new beginning | Florida's top gun | Practice breakdown | Preseason Superlatives

There wasn't a recruit in the country more talked about during the 2010 recruiting cycle than defensive end Ronald Powell.

When he committed to Florida, he immediately became the centerpiece of a fantastic recruiting class.

But Powell hasn't let the hype or attention get to his head.

He came to Florida humble and ready to compete for playing time.

"I definitely think my expectations of myself are higher than anybody in this world can imagine," he said at Florida's Media Day on Tuesday. "I strive to get better every day. When you're doing that the sky is the limit."

With Powell coming in at one of Florida's positions of weakness, there's a good chance he'll see the field early. Some have even penciled him in as a potential starter opposite Justin Trattou at some point during the season.

As things stand now, he sits somewhere on the depth chart behind veteran defensive end Duke Lemmens, who defensive line coach Dan McCarney called a starter on Tuesday.

Also in the mix for the starting spot at that defensive end position are junior William Green and redshirt sophomore Lerentee McCray.

Neither of the two have much experience at defensive end, and both have failed to really impress in their time at Florida.

And while Florida's coaches continually express confidence in Lemmens' ability, there is a natural question about his ability to get to the passer strictly based on his size and athleticism.

There are no such questions about Powell.

The 6-foot-4, 248-pound defensive end is all muscle. He looks the part of an every-down monster defensive end.

Along with that size and athleticism, Powell also brings the perfect mindset to get on the field early.

"Just go hard," he said. "Just coming in and trying to take a spot."

The nation's top overall player arrived at Florida in one of the best defensive line recruiting hauls in recent memory. But Powell says neither he nor the rest of the highly touted linemen care about any of that.

"Take away all the (recruiting) stars," he said. "We don't care about the stars, we're not those kind of guys."

He said that attitude helped him stay focused throughout the recruiting process. He didn't buy into the hype and get content with where he was at.

"I never thought I was above everyone else," he said. "I always felt like I had to work."

Since arriving at Florida, he said he feels that need to work even more. He said he was humbled when he first practiced with so many talented athletes on one field.

But he also said that's why he wanted to come to Florida.

"They're winners here," he said. "They work hard, and they want to win championships. There's no other place I'd rather be."

As far as his expectations for the coming season, Powell made it clear he wants to get on the field.

"You just have to work hard and work within yourself to get better," he said. "Keep striving every day to get better and better and better. My goal coming in is being the best player I can be as a freshman. That's it."


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