football Edit

Texas teammates OL Jaylen Early, TE Jerrale Powers talk first month at FSU

Now with the entire 2022 signing class in the fold and enrolled at Florida State, the FSU coaching staff and players are already hard at work preparing for the upcoming 2022 season.

Like the rest of the summer enrollees, true freshman offensive lineman Jaylen Early and tight end Jerrale Powers are in the process of adjusting to college and immersing themselves within the program.

The high school teammate duo out of Duncanville, Texas, met the local media for the first time and discussed what their first month on campus has been like, what they've been working on, and what drew them to FSU.

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Early excited to build FSU back up alongside rest of '22 OL class

First, Early discussed his current weight and being on target with what the FSU staff is looking for with him, which is always a key for a freshman lineman.

“I came around 320 and I am pretty sure Coach Storms (strength coach Josh Storms) just wants me to maintain, you know. I am not eating too much or too less,” Early said. “I am still working out every day. I think I am at the weight they want me to be at.”

When asked about FSU’s offensive coordinator and his primary recruiter, Alex Atkins, Early was quick to say how much he respects him. He said Atkins is, “the most honest coach, most respected coach,” he’s ever met and he’s never met anyone else like him.

When it comes to veteran FSU linemen like Robert Scott and Maurice Smith, Early says he already “looks up to those guys” and wants to be like them.

Listed as an offensive tackle by Rivals and others, Early said the plan at FSU is for him to not limit himself purely to tackle.

“I have kind of been doing everything. Because, you know, I want to be versatile,” Early said. “I want to play anywhere. I don’t want to just learn one position.”

Coming out of Duncanville, Early praised his high school program and head coach Reginald Samples for preparing him for the college ranks.

“We went against great competition, too. I feel like that helped us a lot. And we had a really good head coach when it comes to working out and doing what he needed to do,” Early said. “He prepared us in a lot of ways that a lot of other schools don’t prepare. I feel like my coaches back home, they helped get mem to the next level. They’re the reason I am here today.”

In the offensive huddle with Early for all of Duncaville’s wins and playoff appearances was, of course, fellow FSU signee Jerrale Powers. Early said the transition to college has been tough, but he has help with Powers and a big fellow offensive line class.

“The recruiting class, that helped a lot. Having a former teammate, I am pretty sure I am the only one that went to the same high school with somebody,” Early said. “I feel like that’s real cool to have a teammate that you played high school with. I feel like that helped out a lot.”

The four-star recruit continued on an offensive line class that includes five teammates for Early to become adjusted to college football alongside.

“Oh, it’s a brotherhood. We’ve been talking. When we all committed, that’s when we all got close. We all text, have a group chat, we all talk. We all just pick each other up, encourage each other, coach each other up,” Early said. “An offensive line class that big, that’s like a blessing. Its always cool to have that many dudes that are in the same grade. I feel like I am blessed to have those dudes, because they help me out a lot. …

“We were like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna build Florida State back up. We’re going to put them back on the map.’ You know, because we have been down the past couple of years. I feel like this is the class that is going to do it. This is the offensive line class, we are going build it back to where it used to be.”

Early continued on why he has so much confidence in the 2022 FSU offensive class, along with the entire team’s roster, to turn around FSU football.

“I see their work ethic. I have seen them work, I have seen my brothers’ work ethic. I have seen them lift, I have seen them run. I have seen how bad they want it. I admire them, I look up to them,” Early said. “I feel like if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to do something special. That’s why I am confident. We have all been talking a lot, we have kind of developed that little brotherhood. We are going to grind for each other.”

Powers discusses position switch with FSU, bond with coaching staff

Already a month into summer workouts at FSU, freshman tight end Jerrale Powers compared offseason conditioning in the college ranks to what he faced at Duncanville.

“I think they prepared us very good both mentally and physically, because a lot of the workouts we do here are very intense,” Powers said. “The type of school that we came from, we’re used to those type of extreme workouts. It probably wasn’t just as much, but it was about the same. I think they prepared us very well.”

Every high school prospect is focused on their own recruitment, but when teammates have a chance to continue together at the next level like Early and Powers, that can’t be ignored.

“Honestly, when it got closer to us committing, yes it was a conversation. But I can’t really say – I am pretty sure he was FSU way before,” Powers said. “He got the offer before me, so I am pretty sure he was going to them way before me. It was most definitely a conversation.”

Having played wide receiver and tight end in high school, and primarily receiver, Powers described what the steep learning curve of switching position in college has been like and what he brings to the FSU offense.

“I am working on getting stronger, faster, and I am just learning how to be more of a tight end in general,” Powers said. “Blocking-wise, learning the playbook, everything. ..

“I feel like I bring someone who doesn’t just block but doesn’t just run routes. I can learn how to do both very, very well. And just more faster and more physical. I just feel like with me playing receiver in high school and then me now playing tight end, when I combine the two, it helps a lot.”

Even while he’s excited to be a part of the Seminoles, Powers talked above the move from Texas and the challenges of leaving home.

“It was anxiety at first,” Powers said. “I was very hype. But then I just got to thinking, ‘I am about to be thousands of miles away from my people. I am not going to be able to just go up the street and see them and stuff like that.’ But I mean I got through it, I started doing way better, just learning how to be away from them. I talk to them every day.”

Powers said it also helps that head coach Mike Norvell and tight ends coach Chris Thomsen are from Texas and relate well with him.

“Coach Thomsen, he was different from all the other coaches that were recruiting me. He wasn’t just so buggy and always blowing up my phone and always seeing what I am doing, this and that. We talked a lot, but it wasn’t just constant. We talked consistently. You could tell he knew what he was doing; when we did talk, it was sometimes about football but it was mainly just about how I am doing, life,” Powers said.. “He was telling me what to expect when I got up here, he was always just a real person. He kept it honest with me the whole time. That’s why I respected him.”

“And Coach Norvell, I just like the energy that he brings,” Powers added. “I like how he coaches as a head coach.”


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Talk about this story with other Florida State football fans in the Tribal Council