Jerrell Powe Announces Retirement From Football
Aug. 29, 2017
By Ben Garrett, Special to OleMissSports.com
OXFORD, Miss. -- Former Ole Miss defensive lineman Jerrell Powe on Tuesday announced his retirement from football, as well as his intention to re-enroll at Ole Miss in an effort to finish his degree.
Powe, of Waynesboro, Miss., played six seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texas and Washington Redskins. A three-year starter for the Rebels and two-time All-SEC honoree, Powe was selected by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Powe concluded his Ole Miss career with 69 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He missed only one game in his three seasons, starting 22 of 25 games over his final two years. As a senior in 2010, Powe was one of five players to start all 12 games (nose tackle), amassing 27 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He was named a team captain.
In high school, Powe was one of the most coveted prospects in the country. He was a five-star prospect and Parade All-American, ranked as the No. 4 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 33 overall player by Scout.com. Rivals.com ranked Powe as its No. 3 defensive line prospect and No. 24 overall player.
Powe, formerly a Criminal Justice major, said he’s currently focused on finishing school, though he’s weighing all of his future options. In a statement released exclusively to the Ole Miss Spirit, Powe expressed his gratitude to not only Ole Miss, but all of the people, institutions and organizations that helped shape him both on and off the field.
“Football has meant so much to me,” Powe said. “Actually, it’s meant everything. It’s been so good to me and my family. I owe everything to the game.
“I can’t begin to describe the sense of pride I feel today as I announce my retirement. Yes, the journey is over, but as I reflect on my career, in the end, I was able to accomplish the overall goal I set for myself as a little boy growing up in Waynesboro, which was not only to play in the NFL, but to don the red and blue as an Ole Miss Rebel. Reaching college, especially considering the obstacles put in front of me, and then advancing to the NFL, is all I ever wanted to do. And while I, as so many Rebel fans are well-aware, had to take a long road to fulfill my dream, I find myself today grateful for all of my experiences — the highs, the lows and the memories that will last a lifetime.
“I never knew when this day would come, but time waits for no man, and it has come for me. I’ve met countless people during my years in football who helped me reach this point, and I’ve forged lasting relationships. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe my feelings towards all of those who I’ve come in contact with or who have played an integral role in my development both as a player and as a man. Football has provided me a platform and myriad opportunities that will be, most assuredly, invaluable as I push forward in my life, and it’s because of those relationships that I look to the future with unbridled optimism and excitement. My immediate plan is to re-enroll at Ole Miss and finish my degree, all while weighing my options as I turn towards the next chapter in my life.
“I have so many people that I would like to thank, though I can’t adequately express my gratitude in a simple statement. You know who you are, and I am forever indebted to you. You’ve meant everything to me, from my beloved mother, Shirley, to Jim Carroll, Dewayne Thomas and the late, great Joseph K. Barnett. To Jim and Dewayne, you have been great mentors in my life. Thank you. Also, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance of Marvin Chapman, my defensive line coach at Waynesboro and spiritual advisor. I’d like to personally thank him for molding me into the player I became and for teaching me the importance of always putting God first.
“Clark Hunt and the Kansas City Chiefs organization will always hold a special place in my heart. Mr. Hunt took a chance on a late-round selection and gave me my start, while future Hall of Fame coach Romeo Crennel always believed in me. To think, my first snap came against another Hall of Famer and Super Bowl winner, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, which opened a door that led to a season with the Houston Texans alongside one of, if not the greatest, players I’ve ever lined up alongside in J.J. Watt. I send my love and gratitude to Bob McNair of the Texans and Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins. Thank you.
“But I’d be remiss if I didn’t directly acknowledge the institutions that molded me, specifically Buckatunna Junior High, Wayne County High School (where I still think back fondly to beating West Jones to win our conference, as well as back-to-back state championships), Hargrave Military Academy and, of course, the University of Mississippi.
“To Rebel Nation, I put everything on the line for you. I’ll never forget my career day in the Egg Bowl against in-state rival Mississippi State in 2008, which included my first career interception in a rout of the Bulldogs. Or beating the eventual national champion Florida Gators in the Swamp the same year. Or our back-to-back Cotton Bowl wins, including an upset of then-No. 5 Texas Tech. Or watching Dexter McCluster run roughshod over Tennessee in 2009 in one of the most impressive single-game, all-purpose displays our university has seen or will ever see.
“Ole Miss is, and always will be, home for me. Hotty Toddy, and I’ll see y’all in The Grove.”
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