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Quinton Powell Feels Perfect For USC's System

The sophomore OLB will be expected to step up and play right away.

Quinton Powell will be used all over the field this season.
Quinton Powell will be used all over the field this season.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, sophomore outside linebacker Quinton Powell may be a bit undersized to play the intended position but that has not affected his ferocious play all over USC's defense.

"I've been considered an underdog my whole entire life. I've proven them wrong to this point and I'm just gonna keep proving them wrong again," Powell firmly proclaims.

Following the recent news that Jabari Ruffin tore the ACL ligament in his knee and would be out for the rest of the season, Quinton Powell knew his opportunity would be coming right away. Battling with Scott Felix and Charles Burks for immediate playing time on the outside, Powell embraces the new-found opportunity to compete.

"This system fits me perfectly. Everything is just natural," said Powell. "I'm with the ones now, but that's the only different thing."

Known for his impressive combination of both speed and power, Powell tackles the challenge of being the Trojans' first-string outside linebacker with shear confidence.

"I had the experience of playing a little bit last year, but now I'm ready man," Powell said, adding, "At the end of the day, I'm just ready to go out there and knock somebody out."

What does Powell do in his first day on the first team, just what linebacker coach Peter Sirmon and his teammates have come to expect from the free-flowing outside linebacker who hardly fits the traditional mold.

Whether it be chasing tailbacks, stuffing the run, or even covering flex tight end Bryce Dixon out in space, Quinton has been asked to play a variety of different responsibilities.

"My explosiveness and being able to come off the ball fast really helps me out a lot," he says. "I actually played this position back in high school so I'm real comfortable out here."

Powell figures to be one of the major pieces in this defense, and playing at such a young age, the sophomore can rely upon a bevy of experienced teammates to help guide him through challenging situations.

"Quinton's a physical guy," Sarkisian said. "As much as he might not appear to be the biggest guy, he's willing, he's tough."

As the Trojans gear up for another two weeks of intensive Fall Camp practices, Powell will continue to fly around for the football. "I want this opportunity. I'm ready to go."