Bilal Powell has very likely made himself a decent amount of money this week during practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
The Face has been listed as a "breakout performer" by nearly every scout and media member attending practice, and received some serious praise from the folks on the NFL Network Thursday night. He capped the work week (which is far more important than the game itself) by being named the South Team's starting running back for tomorrow's game.
He also took part in a very good Q&A with the New York Times.
MW: Your run against Cincinnati was insane…
BP: (A big smile comes across his face as he begins to laugh) Yeah…
MW: …I was watching it last week, and I told a colleague of mine that, thus far, it was the best run I’ve seen all year in college football. It was up there with Marshawn Lynch’s playoff run against the Saints.
BP: Thank you.
MW: When head coach Charlie Strong took the Lousiville job, he remembered you from his days recruiting players for the University of Florida. It was Strong who decided to make you the featured offensive player this year. However, it was former coach Steve Kragthorpe who recruited you, and you didn’t have as significant a role in the offense during his tenure. Can you tell me the factors behind your emergence as a senior?
BP: The No.1 thing was that Coach Strong taught us to compete with relentless effort. The things that he had us do in the off-season really prepared us for situations that came up in the season. It was just a blessing for him to come in and do the things that he had done for us as a team. We worked really hard in the off-season and it was just something we had missed for the past three years. He instilled in us that hard work is relentless effort and you could see the success throughout the season.
Powell has received significant praise this week for his physical running style, his pass blocking and his pass-catching ability out of the backfield. The one thing he's been criticized for is the free and loose way he carries the ball.
Other than that, the talk has been almost universally positive.
An assortment of media/scout tweets from the week:
There are a couple of players at the Senior Bowl I've taken a liking to and Louisville's Bilal Powell is right at the top.SKennedyScout Scott KennedyBilal Powell has shown power, blocking, vision, everything to be a top back in this draftSchottey Michael SchotteySouth OL got beat but Bilal Powell planted and got at least 20 yards...he's making money this weekMaxBroncos MaxBroncosDerrick Locke having better day today, but best South RB is Bilal Powell. He looks awkward, runs upright, but runs hard, gets to hole quick.jnsanchez Josh SanchezNo doubt Cal's Cam Jordan. I loved Luke Stocker & Bilal Powell as well - RT @kantwistaye: @jnsanchez most impressive player of the week?Adam_Lefkoe Adam LefkoeBilal Powell getting some solid love on the NFL Network at senior bowl practiceLouisville Bilal Powell is having another nice day today. I'm starting to take a serious liking.
Time is the ultimate test, but as of right now I would have to say that Bilal Powell is my favorite Louisville football player of all-time.
The man deserves this.
You can catch the Senior Bowl tomorrow at 4 p.m. on the NFL Network.