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January 22, 2018

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high school football:

Gorman’s Shaq Powell commits to Duke


Sam Morris

Bishop Gorman running back Shaquille Powell gets away from Reed High School of Sparks defensive lineman Jared Emerson during the 4A championship football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Damote Ranch High School in Reno.

Updated Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 | 5:32 p.m.

Prep Sports Now

Moving from football to basketball

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss the Bishop Gorman football team's third straight state championship and glance at the basketball season on this abbreviated edition of the podcast.

Related coverage

Bishop Gorman High running back Shaquille Powell had been on more than his share of college football recruiting trips during the last year.

The senior had taken visits UNR, Fresno State, Stanford, Arizona and UNLV in some capacity (official or unofficial) searching for the right fit to continue his career.

When he arrived this weekend at Duke in Durham, N.C., something instantly felt right. Everything from the team’s training facility to the architecture of the buildings on campus appealed to Powell.

He wasted little time in committing to the program, giving a pledge Sunday before leaving back to Southern Nevada. Verbal commitments are non-binding and don’t become official until an athlete signs a letter of intent in early February.

Just don’t expect Powell to back down from his commitment. He immediately felt at home.

“My favorite part, and what I think sets (Duke) apart, is the family atmosphere with the players,” Powell said. “Everyone is so close, the players and coaches.”

The 5-foot-11 Powell rushed for 2,427 yards and 40 touchdowns this fall in helping Gorman win a third consecutive state championship. He is rated as a three-star recruit on the evaluating scale of five stars

He had 86 touchdowns and more than 5,000 rushing yards over the last three years, typically playing his best in Gorman’s games against nationally ranked opponents. For instance, in the season opener this year against Chaparral of Arizona, he rushed for 300 yards and three touchdowns in helping the Gaels erase a halftime deficit.

In last week’s state championship game, Powell three touchdown runs in a span of four carries in the first half in helping Gorman score 72 points.

Duke is far from a football power and often takes a back seat to the school’s storied basketball program.

“They really believe they can turn the program around. I believe it, too,” Powell said.

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