Tifton Gazette

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February 5, 2014

Powell picks Auburn on National Signing Day

TIFTON — With a few swipes of an ink pen Tuesday afternoon, Ike Powell changed from blue and white to blue and orange. On football's National Signing Day, the senior center announced his allegiance to Auburn University.

John Reid, who has been his head coach for the past two years, expressed his pride before Powell had a chance to put pen to paper.

"I want to say how proud we are of Ike and his teammates for helping to this point. It's been a long process." He said Powell's parents had driven him all over the country to camps and helped hone his skills.

"It turned into a very tenuous ordeal about two weeks ago when Ike was committed to go to Vanderbilt. He was excited to be going to a university that he was proud to be a part of and all of a suddenly that changed. We were lucky that we had other things planned out and that ended up being the Auburn Tigers."

Powell's mother, Nancy, said last week that her son switched his commitment after Vanderbilt's head coach, James Franklin, took the same position at Penn State. He had wanted to play for Franklin and his staff at Vanderbilt and since Auburn had always expressed interest, he decided to play for the Tigers.

"He's going to play in the SEC and we're excited to get a chance to see him play on Saturday," said Reid. "And not just him. We're getting to a point where we're going to have more and more players playing all over the country on Saturday. After Ike, we're probably going to have five or six kids to get a chance to play, not only at Division II levels, but all over the place and advance their education most importantly."

"If you do what we've talked about and do a good job in the classroom and out on the practice field and work on our core values of toughness, integrity, family and trust, good things happen in the long run. These are one of the things that makes us most proud, to have our kids advance themselves."

Reid concluded his speech with "Go Tigers!"

Powell expressed his thanks to the crowd in attendance.

"I'd like to thank God for the abilities that have brought me this far, my dad who has taken me all over the country, my mom for all the support she has given me and I'd like to thank my coaches and teammates."

"It's an exciting time for us," Reid said at Powell's signing, speaking of several more Blue Devils who were expected to sign scholarships. He said these would happen in about a week or so. Later Wednesday afternoon, Reid announced the names of those players.

Reid said Sam Douglas would be going to Valdosta State, quarterback Ryan Wedgeworth was going to Southeastern University (Fla.), Ladarius Stewart would be attending Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College and that Fort Valley State would be picking up a trio of Devils: Rashad Parks, Malik Pittman and Steven Waters.

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