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Where are they now?

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Adam Powell

Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series following college athletes who hail from Gadsden County.

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BREANNA A. RITTMAN

Adam Powell is a third-year business student at Livingstone College in North Carolina. The 2011 graduate of East Gadsden High School is a defensive end for the football team. 

Powell said he has been asked many times about why he did not keep the family tradition of attending Florida A&M. 

“I wanted to do something different,” Powell said. “Plus Livingstone was the only one who offered me a scholarship.”

Powell signed with Livingstone a few weeks before graduation. Being close to graduation without being signed to a university was a minor setback, but Powell did not give up hope.

“I knew my abilities and wanted to play even if I had to be a walk-on,” Powell said.

He continued working out and applying to colleges and universities. A highlight tape of Powell was uploaded on YouTube and sent to former Livingstone head Elvin James. 

“He blew me away,” James said.

Powell got a scholarship offer while working out with one of his coaches. 

“Coach Fuller handed me the phone, and then Coach James said ‘We want you to play for us,’” Powell said.

The Quincy native was not homesick when he moved to North Carolina.

“I just saw the move as taking the next step in my life.”

Being a student athlete in college is far from easy. Powell has to deal with morning and evening practices, attending class and finding time to study, eat, and sleep.

“There’s a lot of pressure being a student athlete,” Powell said. “People think we got it good because we’re on scholarship.”

It may be time-consuming but Powell is focused to endure until the end.

“I love where I’m from, but I’m not trying to go back home,” Powell said.

Coach James saw Powell’s determination. 

“He has great work ethics and is very attentive, always looking to get better,” James said.

Powell said the difference between playing for college instead of high school is being held accountable.

“It’s a business that forces you to grow-up,” Powell said. “The coach will get rid of you before the school gets rid of him.”

Being kicked out of school is not an option for Powell. When students leave for college, they not only represent themselves but they represent their family and community. Powell makes sure he represents well.

“People already don’t expect much of you when they find out you’re from Quincy,” Powell said. “So do your best to prove them wrong.”

He believes young people must think about their decisions. 

“You never know who’s watching,” Powell said. “Be serious about your future and think about your decisions.”

Powell’s conduct has drawn praise. Coach James had nothing less than great words to say about Powell.

“He’s the kind of guy that a man wants his son to emulate and his daughter to date,” James said.

Powell offered these bits of advice for students:

 “Whatever your dream is, focus on it.”

“Get out of your comfort zone and make yourself successful.”

“Work on your craft.”

“If you can’t adjust to college, it will eat you alive.”