June 23, 2016
ANN ARBOR – With scholarship offers from more than 40 colleges, Jaylen Kelly-Powell can take his pick from some of the top programs in the nation.
Michigan and Michigan State are both in pursuit of the 2017 four-star safety from Detroit Cass Tech, but Kelly-Powell doesn’t have a list of favorites or a timeline for making a commitment.
“Right now I’m trying to take my visits so once I commit I stay committed to that school,” he said at the conclusion of the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit on June 9. “I don’t want to be jumping from place to place.”
At 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds, Kelly-Powell is the No. 6 player in Michigan, the No. 21 safety and No. 261 recruit overall in the 2017 class, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings. Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oregon are among the top out-of-state offers he has and the secondary role he’s projected at varies by program.
“It’s different from all colleges,” he said. “I don’t really know. I still have to talk to them where I really fit at because there’s a new class coming in so I don’t know how the new class is.
“Michigan mostly sees me at safety, kind of like a Jabrill Peppers coming down (near the line of scrimmage).”
Kelly-Powell is the cousin of Detroit King four-star cornerback Ambry Thomas, also a Michigan target, who said the two have talked about committing to the same program. Kelly-Powell has connections at Michigan, including All-American senior cornerback and fellow Cass Tech product Jourdan Lewis.
“He’s a great player, a phenomenal person,” Kelly-Powell said of Lewis. “He’s humble, he’s a great person just to be around. … I watch him a lot and try to be just like him, try to be as good as him.”
Kelly-Lewis is one of three 2017 Cass Tech players Michigan has offered a scholarship, along with five-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and three-star guard Jordan Reid. All three earned an invitation to the Nike The Opening Finals, for 166 of the top prospects in the nation, July 5-10 in Oregon.
“Compete and just showing everybody that the guys from up North, the Detroit boys, can actually play,” Kelly-Powell said of his goal at The Opening. “Everybody is always talking about down South, but we can play just as well.”