Powell chooses to chase dream at UF

Published: Friday, January 10, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

Since the decommitment of Miami Central's Dalvin Cook on New Year's Eve, the Florida football coaches have been searching high and low for a quality running back to replace him.

On Friday, they got their guy.

Miami pledge Brandon Powell flipped to the Gators, according to his head coach at Deerfield Beach, Allen Jackson.

“He is a Gator,” Jackson informed The Sun through text message.

Powell, a member of the Rivals250 and ESPN300, made his initial commitment to Tennessee in the summer and then switched to Miami in August. In addition to those schools, he also officially visited Nebraska and West Virginia.

But UF was always Powell's first choice and dream school, Jackson said, and an offer from coach Will Muschamp on Wednesday threw a wrench into his plans to enroll early at UM.

After talking things over with his family Thursday night, Powell decided to attend Florida and reported to campus Friday.

The 5-foot-9, 172-pounder was named Broward County's Class 8A-7A-6A Player of the Year in 2013. He rushed for 1,339 yards and 20 touchdowns on 141 carries as a senior, finishing with the second-most rushing yards among Class 8A running backs in Broward County.

He also had 21 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 452 yards and one touchdown on kick and punt returns.

The Gators now have 20 members and nine early enrollees in their class with the addition of Powell, who is the third 2014 recruit to flip to UF during early enrollment this week.

It wasn't all good news Friday for Florida as Homestead receiver Ermon Lane decommitted, a move that had been anticipated for more than a month.

The Gators are also expected to lose Immokalee athlete J.C. Jackson, but everyone else in their class appears to be solid.

Verbal commitments are not binding until prospects sign their national letters of intent Feb. 5.

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