I featured Mississippi nose guard Jerrell Powe over the summer as one of the more intriguing senior prospects in the country and a potential first round prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft.
It seems that Powe might have other ideas rather than joining the 2011 draft, according to a report today from Kyle Veazey of The Clarion Ledger .
Powe, listed as a senior on the Mississippi website, has only used three years (including this one) of his four seasons of athletic eligibility.
As has been well documented, Powe has had numerous run-ins with the NCAA regarding his academic eligibility. In this case, however, an NCAA rule may actually end up helping him. Student athletes who were once academic non-qualifiers can earn an extra year of eligibility if they prove they are on pace to graduate. As Veazy details in his report, Powe is on schedule to graduate in May with a degree in Criminal Justice.
The 6-2, 320 pound Powe is viewed as the top nose guard prospect in the country by some scouts. His 2010 season, however, has been a disappointment and thus, in some ways a microcosm of the Mississippi program this year. Powe has accumulated "only" 20 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks this season.
Still, while Powe hasn't been as successful this year as expected, his potential decision to return for another season of collegiate football would be surprising. Due to the fact that he was ruled ineligible to play for three years, he'll already be entering the NFL a bit older (turns 24 in March) than most prospects.
Powe didn't sound like his age was a concern, however.
"We'll sit down at the end of the year, send in a draft analysis, and see where I'm at and then make the best decision from there," Powe said.