Rogers graduate Damond Powell, who led the nation at the junior college level in yards per reception this last season at Snow College, has verbally committed to play at Iowa.
The 2010 All-Blade wide receiver reportedly made his decision after visiting Iowa on a recruiting trip over the weekend. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder caught 41 passes for 1,231 yards (30.2 yards-per-catch), including 14 for touchdowns during his sophomore season this fall at Snow.
“I think Damond was one of the most explosive players I've ever coached and he's got great hands,” said former Rogers coach Rick Rios. “Damond has a great work ethic.”
Rios, who works at Canton McKinley, has remained in contact with Powell while his former playmaker has been attending the junior college located in Ephraim, Utah. Powell totaled 70 receptions for 1,838 yards and 18 touchdowns during two years at Snow.
Iowa and Ohio University were tops among the programs that expressed interest in Powell to complete his remaining two years of eligibility.
“On the field, he was an explosive vertical threat that no team could stop,” said Clay Bayard, Snow's passing game/wide receivers coach via email. “Off the field, Damond was a great friend and a teammate to everyone and was very well liked.”
Iowa struggled to a 4-8 record this year and looks to address one of its main concerns by bringing in an offensive threat like Powell. Only four players recorded a catch longer than 26 yards this season for the Hawkeyes. Powell did that basically every time he caught a football.
Bayard believes Powell has shown he's capable of stretching defenses and hasn't reached his potential as a wide receiver.
“At the next phase he will only get better,” Bayard said. “He will be more than just a vertical threat. His routes have improved over his time here, and they will only get better.”
Powell caught 36 passes for a school-record 842 yards, including a school-record 16 touchdowns, during his senior season at Rogers. Rios believes Powell, who has put on approximately 25 pounds since graduating from Rogers, will continue to hold his own at the next level in his playing career.
“He's a young man we've always known could play at the highest level,” Rios said. “I don't see him having any issues playing at the next level [of college].”
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com, 419-724-6302, or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.