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Monday, September 26, 2022

The Swamp was full of future college football players Friday night, but one athlete was the unquestioned star of the night.

All eyes were on Ronald Powell, the five-star defensive end prospect from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde High, during UF's annual Friday Night Lights camp. Powell received a lot of attention from Gators coaches, staff and the media.

The rising high school senior lined up and caught some passes during receiving drills and switched to the other side of the ball as well, displaying his freakish athleticism by lining up at linebacker.

"They're talking about playing me on both sides of the ball - defensive end and tight end," Powell said.

With his 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame and ability to play on both sides of the ball, Powell is part Cornelius Ingram and part Carlos Dunlap. The only prospect on Florida Field who went shirtless for the camp, Powell was easily the most physically impressive athlete in attendance.

When asked what position he preferred, he simply said, "I play everywhere."

UF coach Urban Meyer also spent a good portion of his Friday night speaking with and watching Powell, whom Rivals.com ranks as the third-best player in the recruiting class of 2010. Around 9 p.m., the players took a knee at midfield to watch a highlight reel of the UF football team's 2008 season, but Powell stood right by Meyer's side at the front of the group.

When the drills concluded and the players were treated to a post-camp meal, Powell was surrounded at all times by multiple UF staff members, and two whisked him away to a side room in The Swamp after he left the field.

Powell has received scholarship offers from UF as well as Notre Dame, Tennessee, Auburn and seven Pacific-10 Conference schools - including USC. Friday was the second time Powell made the trip across the country to visit Gainesville, and he expressed his admiration of UF in his brief time speaking to reporters.

"I love it here," he said. "What's not to like? They're national champs."

Oral commitments are non-binding until a national letter of intent is signed on National Signing Day.

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