When the dust cleared from Wednesday's spring football practice, Coach Houston Nutt was praising DT…
Jerrell Powe -
After a week and a half of offseason workouts, and a "no fried foods" diet, aimed at reducing his body weight, Powe is tipping the scales at 333 pounds with an ultimate goal of "315-320."
"My biggest goal prior to spring training is to get under 320 pounds and get in the best shape I can get in for spring ball," said Powe. "I want to be in the best shape I have ever been in.
"During the season, I was bouncing around from 343 to 348. When I came back for intersession, I weighed 349. Now, I'm at 333."
To lose that 16 pounds, Powe has been doing extra running and treadmill work.
"Coach (Don) Decker and Coach (Jason) Wilfawn have me running extra after practice - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It amounts to about 25-30 minutes a day extra," he explained. "I am also watching everything I eat - no fried foods."
When Powe reaches his goal, which he has vowed to do, he believes Rebel coaches and fans will see a different version of Jerrell Powe.
"I know for sure I won't get tired as quickly and I think I will be able to move from sideline to sideline better and more quickly," he explained.
Powe evaluated his first season of college ball after a three-year wait just to get going.
"I got more comfortable as the season progressed. It could have been better, but I finished OK," Jerrell assessed. "At the first of the season, I was concerned about just doing what I was supposed to do in my gap. Toward the end of the season I started thinking more about making plays. I was decent and did some things well, but I can do better."
Powe believes the learning curve is basically behind him and it's time to start leaving more of an impression.
"I'm getting better with the speed of the game. I'm getting a better feel of what we are doing. I'm excited about the future," he said.
Powe and all the defensive linemen will be working with a different coach this year now that Tracy Rocker has moved to Auburn.
Jerrell, however, is familiar with new DL Coach Terry Price.
"He recruited me when he was at Auburn and I was coming out of high school. He's a great guy and I look forward to working with him," said Jerrell.
Powe and the rest of the DL have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of All-American DT Peria Jerry, but Jerrell feels the troops will be up to the task.
"Peria was a big part of our team last year. His absence will motivate us to fill his shoes. We are looking forward to the challenge," he added.
Jerrell was not only hindered by extra weight a little last year, he was trying to overcome an old wrist injury that kept acting up during the season. It left him, essentially, playing with one effective arm.
"My wrist is about 75-80%. I'm doing some special exercises to get it stronger. I have a screw in it, so it's hard to bend but I'm working on the flexibility and strength of it so I don't have to wear a cast on it," he closed. "I am also hoping to get it where I can bench press correctly. Last year, I was benching with just two fingers, but now I am benching with my whole hand.
"The bending and flexibility drills I am doing have helped."
With Powe's weight coming down, some playing time under his belt and his wrist showing improvement, Jerrell is anxious to move up the ladder on the DT depth chart.
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