Greenville, NC wide receiver Cornell Powell delivered on his year-long commitment and signed with the Clemson Tigers Wednesday. Although loaded at the receiver position, Powell is the perfect fit for the field receiver position currently manned by Artavis Scott and will compete with Ray-Ray McCloud for a spot on the two deep -- a redshirt is not certain here.
Based on film Powell looks more suited at field than McCloud, so don't be surprised if Ray Ray finds himself cross-training in the slot; simply put, both players are too dynamic for one to relegate the other to the bench. Like Scott, Powell is a long-strider and extremely difficult to bring down, but he likely has more upside as a true receiver thanks to his solid size at 6'1", 200 lbs. That height and weight could also see him being a real threat when combined with Diondre Overton. A 6'5" and 6'1" combination at receiver can cause a lot of mismatches for defenses. Powell is a composite 4-star, primarily recruited by Jeff Scott.
My choice for sleeper contributor on offense next season. Powell didn't get the big all-star game invitations like other receivers, but it was clear during Shrine Bowl practice who the best player on the field was by a wide margin. Remember that Jeff Scott and the new #WRU had their pick of wide receivers and Powell was the guy they chose to go after as the best guy on their board.
I think some people looking at him and watching some tape could say he is good at a lot of things but not great at anything. I would respond that he is great at a lot of things and not elite at any one thing. He has great speed but isn't an elite burner. He is great after the catch and runs jet/fly sweeps and tunnel screens effectively in his high school offense. He is durable enough to run the ball and strong enough to gain yards after contact. Shifty and elusive in the open field. Body is physically ready for the college level.
No problems with hands. High points the ball great and has a good vertical. Runs good routes at this level. Confident player. I'm struggling to see why he isn't ranked higher (although Rivals did boost him up to #36 overall in their final rankings after seeing the Shrine Bowl practice live, other services have him outside the top 100 and ESPN embarrasses themselves by giving him a 3* ranking). He lacks ideal speed at the position and is only 6'1 but that is about it.