March 14, 2014

One on One with Tyler Powell

Tar Heel Illustrated caught up with UNC football commitment, Tyler Powell from Cosby HS in Midlothian, Va. Powell discusses his physical developments, his success in wrestling and track and field and how he plans to make an impact on the gridiron next season as a freshman on the defensive line.

Tar Heel Illustrated - Since football is over, what have you been doing with yourself over the last few months? I hear you're quite the wrestler.

Powell: I've have been fortunate enough to be successful there. I finished fifth in the state this year and I also finished fourth in the state in the indoor shot put. Now I have started outdoor. I've also been lifting a lot and I'm starting to see some weight come on.

THI -- Speaking of size and weight, every single time I see you, you appear to be larger. Where are you at these days, weight-wise? And what's the goal for your freshman year in Chapel Hill?

Powell: I just hit 270-pounds last week. And my goal is to really come in to UNC in shape in June so that I can get the most out of my workouts. I want to hopefully be at 280-pounds by August 30th.

THI - At 280, where would you see yourself playing in the UNC scheme on defense? You are bigger, but you're still so well known for your quick jump on the ball and your overall agility?

Powell: I really hope just to be on the field contributing this season. I could care less where, as long as I am on the field making an impact. And I'm really working on putting on good weight so that I can maintain the quicker part of my game.

THI - I think the first time I ever met you, with your dad, at the Rivals Combine, you were like 215-pounds as a sophomore. Then as a junior, you were like 235 or 240, right? Now you're 270-pounds. How have you managed to put on so much weight and muscle? What's the Powell secret recipe?

Powell - I'm a late-bloomer, according to some coaches whose names I won't mention. I mean I just try to work as hard as I can and I trust that I will get the results.

THI - You've definitely gotten the results. Switching over to the coaches. How it did impact you when the Heels lost a couple of their coaches? I know you were pretty close with Walt Bell?

Powell: I mean, yes, it was hard to lost those guys because they were obviously big contributors to the success of the program. But it also shows how successful that they are and the kinds of coaches that Coach (Larry) Fedora is mentoring down in Chapel Hill. It's exciting to be around that kind of excitement. And I'm really happy for Coach Bell. He has a great opportunity to do something that very few coaches, at his age, get to do.

THI - Well said, and over the spring, what other football events, camps, combines or showcases are left on your agenda for the time between now and this summer? Is there anything left?

Powell - I don't have anything on the agenda now. Hopefully, I can just get Drew Birchmeier ready for the camps this summer. (Note - Birchmeier is projecting as a major football prospect in the class of 2016 on the offensive line or as a tight end)

THI - What else do you want to share with the UNC fans out there? I know a lot of them think you're going to make a big impact and pretty quickly.

Powell - I just want everyone to know that I am working my hardest to be out there on the field, making a difference next year. I am going to fight to get that playing time next season.

THI - I know that's what they want to hear. And I think you will, with your talent and work-ethic. Thank you, as always, for your time, Tyler.

Powell -- Thank you.

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