FAYETTEVILLE — Canton (Ohio) McKinley three-star linebacker Mani Powell was one of the two official visitors to Arkansas this weekend.
Powell, 6-2, 225, talked about how the visit went for him.
“It was a great visit,” Powell said. “I feel like me and my family had fun. It was a great time. We enjoyed the people and seeing the place in person is a big difference from the technology, so it was a great time.”
Did the visit help Arkansas’ chances to land your commitment and, if so, in what way?
“Yes, Arkansas set the bar high for my visits,” Powell said. “So, I know what I’m looking for. I know what I’m going to be looking for in other schools to top. Yes, they did increase their chances. I would say it’s the people, the family feeling. They gave it to us and it never stopped. That was big in what helped.”
NCAA rules prohibit the coaches from taking the recruits to such events as the Super Regional since it’s not a game in the regular season, but Powell talked about getting to see it on TV.
“No, I did not get a chance to see the baseball game being played, though,” Powell said. “We had a TV at one of the places that we went to.”
Powell’s scheduled host had something come up, but freshman Chris Paul stepped in to help.
“I don’t believe I met my host,” Powell said. “He was dealing with something, but it was set up very well and I loved the trip here. I hung out with everybody, literally everybody. I hung out with a freshman linebacker, I know his first name was Chris. He’s an outside linebacker and a great dude. He gave me great advice, he made it a great atmosphere and led me through the tour along with the linebackers coach, Coach Mike (Scherer). He was a great dude.”
Powell was also impressed with the job that Sam Pittman is doing as far as building the program.
“He’s trying to bring in family,” Powell said. “I made sure I told him that I want to go to a place where it feels like family all the time. Coach Pittman and the players made sure they broke it down to me that everything is about family here. There’s a big atmosphere with the family, so that meant a lot. They’re trying to change the atmosphere at Arkansas. They’re trying to bring in great guys and keep pushing with great guys.”
As far as recruiting visits, what do you have coming up?
“Next weekend I go to Indiana,” Powell said. “The weekend after that, I go to Syracuse. Those will be my last OV’s for June.”
As far as a timeline for a decision, do you have one in mind?
“I don’t think I’ll be making a decision until after my season next year, just for the simple fact that I want to get all of the schools and break them down and analyze my decision,” Powell said. “So, I won’t be making a decision anytime soon, but I will be taking notes of all the schools that I’m visiting.”
The Hogs offered Powell on March 5. Two SEC schools are his most recent offers, Ole Miss and Kentucky. In all Powell holds 16 offers. In addition to his pair of recent offers and the three schools he has visits set to Powell has offers from Boston College, Coastal Carolina, Akron, Marshall, Liberty, Buffalo, Ball State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Youngstown State and Kent State.