Jerrell Quartez Powe

Born – March 15, 1987, in Waynesboro, Mississippi.

Family – Mother is Shirley Powe. His father is unknown. His stepfather is Billy Terrell. His foster father-legal guardian until he turned 21 years old was Joe Barnett.

Hometown – Waynesboro, a small town of just more than 5,000 people that sits along the Chickasawhay River in the southeast corner of Mississippi, about 12 miles from the Alabama state line. The town sits just outside the DeSoto National Forest. Lumber is the biggest export and business in Waynesboro.


  • Height – 6-feet, 1¾ inches.
  • Weight – 335 pounds.
  • Arm – 33¼ inches.
  • Hands – 9½ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 5.25 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 3.0 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.8 seconds.
  • Bench press – 27 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 25-feet.
  • Broad jump – 7-feet, 9 inches.

In the summer of his senior year at Wayne County High School, Powe was listed as 6-3, 352 pounds, with a 40-yard time of 4.8 seconds. He had a bench press of 340 pounds, a squat of 580 pounds and a 28-inch vertical leap.


Powe played four years of varsity football ball at Wayne County High School and War Eagles head coach Marcus Boles. He had 225 tackles and 37 sacks in his career. Wayne County had a 49-6 record over those four seasons with two state championships and four appearances in the playoffs.

He was named to the Parade Magazine All-America team, as well as being honored as “Mr. Football” for the state of Mississippi by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger newspaper. He also earned three all-state honors in three seasons on the field.

At Wayne County, Powe also lettered twice in basketball, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game over his career.

It was his activity in the classroom that would become a problem for Powe.


He was not part of the 2005 “graduating” class at Wayne County High School. He was treated as a special education student, taking part in those classes since the second grade. After his 12th-grade year, he was presented a certificate rather than a diploma. To graduate with a diploma, Powe would have had to pass a state competency exam. A certificate of achievement did not require taking the tests.

It was at this time that his mother Shirley reported her son suffered from the learning disability dyslexia that was not discovered until his senior year in high school. He was also diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD.)


2004 – Powe had 75 tackles, 7 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 2 recovered fumbles, earning his third consecutive team MVP honors. War Eagles were 12-1 and lost in the state quarterfinals to Brookhaven 27-21.

2003 – He had 71 tackles, 14 sacks and was named team MVP for the second year in a row. Finishing the season 14-1, Wayne County repeated as a state champion, taking the Mississippi Class 4A title by beating Oxford High 30-3.

2002 – Powe had 50 tackles and 11 sacks in his sophomore season with the War Eagles. He earned team MVP honors. Wayne County finished 14-1 and won the school’s first state championship, beating South Panola High 21-14 to win the Mississippi 5A title.

2001 – As a freshman, Powe had 13 tackles and 5 sacks. The War Eagles finished 9-3, losing in the first round of the state playoffs to Biloxi 17-14.


Powe was considered a five-star recruit by all of the scouting services, and some rated him among the top three defensive tackles in the country. The final group offering him scholarships was Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas A&M and West Virginia. He made visits to Mississippi, Auburn and A&M.

Near the end of the recruiting process, Powe told coaches at Auburn that he was going to sign with them. But on January 14, 2005, during a TV sideline interview at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio, Powe pulled an LSU hat out of a bag and said he was committing to the Tigers. But two days later he said: “I don’t know why I (committed to LSU.) That isn’t my final choice. It still might change on signing day.”

He did; on letter of intent day, Powe signed with Mississippi.

He was not academically qualified to attend Ole Miss under NCAA rules and signed to attend Butler County Community College in Kansas. He later decided to go to Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia.


Powe spent the 2005-06 school year at Hargrave Military Academy, a private boarding school in Chatham, Virginia, a small town of 3,000 people just north of Danville, in south-central Virginia. The program for high school grads has produced many players who went on to play in the NFL, including Chiefs LT Branden Albert.

He was rated the No. 3 prep school player in the nation by one scouting service. Powe was listed at 6-3, 360 pounds and was timed running 40 yards in 5.03 seconds and he listed 225 pounds 19 times in the bench press. Coached by Robert Prunty, the Hargrave Tigers went 3-7 during the 2005 season. Prunty is now the defensive line coach at Texas Tech.


From late November 2004 when his high school career ended through September 2008 when he played in his first college game at Ole Miss, Powe’s football career was derailed. Here’s what happened.


Powe majored in Criminal Justice at the University of Mississippi. He is just a few credits short of earning his degree.

He spent four years actually in school at Ole Miss and three years of football (he left with potentially a year of eligibility remaining based on his academic standing.) He had 68 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 7 sacks.

2010 – (Captain) He finished with 27 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. His best game came against the Crimson Tide, when he had 1.5 sacks against then eight-ranked Alabama. He was named second-team All-SEC for the second consecutive year. In the spring, he was given the program’s J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award. He missed several practices in the pre-season due to breaking several bones in a hand.

2009 – He played in 13 games with 10 starts at nose tackle in the Ole Miss defense. Helped the 9-4 Rebels beat Oklahoma State 21-7 in the Cotton Bowl, where Powe played FB and had two cracks at the end zone from the one-yard line and could not score. (This was the same game where Dexter McCluster racked up 182 rushing yards.) On defense in that game, he had 4 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He earned second-team All-SEC honors. He received the program’s Jeff Hamm Memorial Award for the most improved defensive player in spring practice.

2008 – Powe played in 12 games when he finally got on the field with the Rebels. He saw limited playing time, but his best game came against Mississippi State when he had 2 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an INT. He had one tackle in the Rebels victory over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.


















































November 22, 2004 – After Wayne County lost in overtime in the Mississippi State playoffs, Powe got into a verbal altercation with the War Eagles head coach Marcus Boyles.

“We got beat in overtime, and he got mad and had a few words for me,” Boyles said. “That’s all that happened. There was no physical contact, he didn’t get arrested and there were no police involved. The whole thing just got blown out of proportion.”

Powe acknowledge that something happened on the field after the game, but would not provide details. “I was mad after the game; I hate to lose,” Powe said. “But I don’t want to comment about anything. It was a misunderstanding and we are still a family.”

Added Boyles: “It was the heat of the moment. It’s unfortunate this happened, but it was an isolated incident. I’ve never had any trouble with Jerrell in the four years he’s played for me.”

April 19, 2009 – In the early hours of a Sunday morning, police responded to a complaint about loud noise coming from an apartment complex near the Ole Miss campus. Oxford police cited Powe for playing loud music at his apartment. When officers handed him the ticket and asked him to sign it, Powe supposedly said “I’m not signing. I can’t read.” His joke did not go over well with the responding officers or Mississippi head coach Houston Nutt.

When asked about Powe’s declaration several days later, Nutt said – “Of course he can read, how do you think he’s getting through college? Now he just needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.”

2005 through 2010 – A concern with Powe will be his weight. Over the six-year period, his weight was reported from 315 pounds (2010), all the way to 381 pounds (2006). As a high schooler, Powe and a teammate had regular Thursday night pizza eating contests during the football season. Powe invariably lost these head-to-head matchups despite the fact he would eat 20-plus slices of pizza in one sitting.

As a big man, Powe’s weight figured to fluctuate; but not by nearly 70 pounds. At various points he was reported to weigh 260 pounds (2001), 335 pounds (2004), 360 pounds (2005), 383 pounds (2006), 365 pounds (2007), 355 pounds (2008), 335 pounds (2009), 316 pounds (2010) and 330 pounds (2011). On draft day the Chiefs asked him to lose weight, something that Powe said he could do. “Weight is not a problem,” Powe said. “I’ve always been able to maintain my weight. I’m just trying to get down to 320 pounds.”


Strength – Huge, powerful mountain of a man on the inside of the defense, Powe is all about brute strength and aggressiveness. There’s nothing subtle about how he plays the game. His squatty build allows him to get low and he comes off the snap with a burst of quickness and power. After that, it’s all about pushing blockers around or tying them up and finding the ball carrier. He has good vision for finding the ball and moving towards the point of attack. He has a very dominating bull rush when going after the QB and he can collapse the pocket from the inside. Big-hearted guy who was well liked by teammates and kept alive his college dream despite long odds against him.

Weaknesses – All power, with little agility in how he plays on the nose. He shows the desire for pursuit, but doesn’t often chase down the ball, as he does it with little speed and he quickly tires. Stamina and conditioning will be in question. Too often plays high and loses his leverage; needs to bend at the knees more than bending at the waist. Powe needs much development as a pass rusher, as he doesn’t show a second or counter move.

Analysis – Huge potential that matches his huge body, Powe has the prototypical build for an NFL nose tackle. Whether he can translate that to production remains to be seen. He will have to get into much better shape if he hopes to be a disruptive force in the NFL. But there’s no doubt he can stack up blockers inside, freeing other players to make plays.


A scout from an AFC team said – “He’s one of those guys that you aren’t sure if he has everything he needs to make it in the NFL, and then 10 years later, he’s still playing and receiving a pay check. He has that kind of talent, but whether he has that kind of will power remains to be seen.”


Legal guardian Joe Barnett – “He is very much a kid worth saving and he deserves the opportunity; he’s not the learning-disabled monster that he was painted to be. He just needs the opportunity and I think he’s finally proven himself to that point.”

Mississippi high school coach Ted Taylor (Madison Central) – “He is one of the most dominating defensive linemen I have ever seen. He is like a really good running back that you know is going to get his due and wreak havoc. You really don’t stop him, but just hope to contain him.”

Mississippi defensive coordinator Todd Mangum – “People tend to attack us outside the tackles because from tackle to tackle, he’s such a strong anchor point. He’s by far the best big man that I have ever coached. He can be as good as he wants to be. The sky is the limit for him, so it’s all up to him.”

Mississippi head coach Houston Nutt – “What you love about him is his perseverance. Anybody could have given up. Anybody could have stopped after the first time or second time or third time when he couldn’t get in school. But this guy keeps going.   When I first met him, he was 383 pounds. He’s 316. He has a real drive. He has drive for excellence, whether it be in the classroom, on the football field, the weight room. This guy is a real leader. That’s why he’s here today. I just love that guy. I think he’s going to be a real impact player. Hopefully he just continues to get better and better.  I can’t explain to you the difference from the first time I met him fundamentally to where he is now. Big-time player.”


When asked what he would do when his football career was over – “I just want to sit at home and eat banana pudding.”

“A lot of people say I’m good because of my speed. I have great feet, they all say. I also just keep going and going until the whistle blows.”

“I just couldn’t give up, I just couldn’t. It’s really because of the love I have to play in the SEC, and I just want to represent my home state. I mean, once you fall in love with something and set your mind on it, you just don’t wanna give it up. And I could see it happening. I wanna come out of that tunnel and see that field. I wanna rub [the bust of] Chucky Mullins’ head and I wanna put us back on the map.”

“I can’t quit on anything out on the field. What I had to go through to get here gives me determination and drive. But, I’m keeping everything positive and not thinking about the past. I’m moving forward and pressing on.”


  • May 15, 2011  - Tokyo Tim says:

    I wonder how inflated the high school 40-yard time of 4.8 seconds at 352 pounds was. If he could show that kind of athleticism at 320, he might be able to be more than just a plug in the middle for the Chiefs.

  • May 15, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Haley will get him in shape when, if ever, there’s football. If conditioning has been a problem, check that off the list.

  • May 15, 2011  - cowboyChief says:

    I really hope this is the big man we need in the middle. We’ve needed a BFF for years and, hopefully, this is the guy to occupy 2 blockers and free up space for the other defensive players. I hope that he’s working out hard now so that when, and if, we have a season, he can come in and help our team.

  • May 15, 2011  - Tracy says:

    Tenacity seems to describe Jerrell Powe’s approach to football. His academic woes prior to being admitted to Ole Miss sound like a modern day mini-version of Moses’ trek through the Sinai. A nose tackle needs to never give up so his perseverance should see him through.
    His stint as team captain and the respect of his teammates are reminiscent of Glenn Dorsey.
    If, as and when the NFL resumes some normalcy, his progress will be interesting to watch.

  • May 15, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    All I can say is we are all rooting for him to be successful. His stats are not overwelming but maybe at that position they aren’t meant to be. I know at that position you are always going to be double teamed. So I guess that kinda kills the chances of having much in the stat department.

  • May 15, 2011  - Pootie T says:

    25 feet! That’s a huge vertical for a NT. Another red zone weapon?

  • May 15, 2011  - txchief says:

    Aspiring to a rewarding retirement eating banana pudding. Sounds like a highly motivated individual.

  • May 15, 2011  - txchief says:

    …and with that 25 foot vertical, he can just jump over the Center and land right on the QB. Who needs outside speed rushers?!!

  • May 16, 2011  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    •Vertical jump – 25-feet
    INCREDIBLE! as in … The Incredible Hulk!

    Go CHIEFS!

  • May 18, 2011  - Michael says:

    I’ve got a good feeling about Powe if he can keep his weight under control. I had the Chiefs taking him in every mock draft I did, only I thought they might take him in the 3rd to 4th round range. He’s no rocket scientist, granted, but has shown he has the physical tools, loves the game and is a great team mate. He could really plug the middle for KC, freeing many others to make big plays.

  • May 18, 2011  - Michael says:

    Hey, Bob, how far do you think teams are going to get information to their players, inlcuding their unsigned draftees? I know they can’t talk to a player or his agent directly, but what about family memebers, friends, former coaches, etc. They could say, you know, we think it would be great if so-and-so were doing this, or making sure their weight is this, etc. I’ve also heard there’s a lot of “informal” talking going on between teams and college free agents via “informal” channels. I just wonder how much “informal talking” is going on these days.

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