Jaylen Kelly-Powell planned several previous trips to Iowa only to have something derail those visits. Saturday, the dynamic Detroit defensive back made it to Kinnick Stadium. For he and the coaches, “finally” was the operative word.
“It was good. I had fun. It was great to finally see the facilities and the Iowa environment,” Kelly-Powell said.
The Hawkeye staff felt the same way.
“They said that they were finally happy to get me on campus,” Kelly-Powell said.
The Class of 2017 Safety from Detroit Cass Tech is one of the more sought after defenders in his cycle. He reports scholarship offers from, among others, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Rivals ranks the 6-foot, 180-pounder as a three-star prospect, the No. 19 safety nationally in his class and the eighth best player, regardless of position, in Michigan for ’17. Scout tabs him as a four-star while 247 has him as a three.
Iowa likes to recruit the Detroit area. One of its top players this season, Desmond King, hails from East English Village Prep, where Class of ’16 verbal commitments, Cedrick Lattimore and Chauncey Golston, are seniors.
“It means a lot,” Kelly-Powell said of seeing players from his hometown in Iowa City. “I think it will make things a little easier having someone from Detroit to relate to.”
Kelly-Powell was disappointed he didn’t connect with King on his Iowa visit. He did keep an eye on the Hawkeye junior, however.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to talk him. But I was able to watch his techniques and pick up a few things,” Kelly-Powell said.
Iowa Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker, who also tutors the team’s secondary, had a simple message for Kelly-Powell.
“He said that they can coach me up to be a great DB,” Kelly-Powell said.
Kelly-Powell has Iowa firmly on his radar as a potential landing spot.
“Iowa’s facilities are top notch and the game day environment is great. I really like it there,” he said.
As mentioned above, the competition is stiff for Kelly-Powell. And the pursuit could last awhile.
“I’m taking my time and it might not be until my senior year or after before I make a decision. There are a few schools that I need to visit first and before I can make a decision,” he said.