Power Echols is more than an athlete. The Charlotte native is equally a champion in his community, reflecting his on-field success.
The Vance High Linebacker is a 6-foot-2, 220 pounds rising senior. Last season he recorded 156 tackles, 14 sacks, and seven forced fumbles. Echols is currently ranked No. 8 in his position and No. 10 in North Carolina.
Echols led Vance High to the 4a State Championship, where he was crowned MVP. He is a two-time Charlotte observe Defensive Player of the Year and currently a finalist for N.C. Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year; an award he won his sophomore year.
Echols committed to North Carolina after entertaining power schools such as Clemson and Penn State. The linebacker is expected to enroll early to the university after the NCHSAA announced the postponement of fall athletics for North Carolina high schools.
Even though his on-field actions ring him as a highly recruited player, it's his community efforts truly shine to who he is. Over the summer at the height of racial tension, Echols delivered a powerful speech on equality and racial injustice. He also started a non-profit, Rebirth. The group involves 31 high school kids who are using their platforms to create change. The group plans to be heavily community involved from speaking engagements and peaceful group outings.
During a protest for George Floyd, Echols stated that he was nervous about speaking, but treated the moment as a football game.
"We're trying to do our part to change the lives of future generations of black people in America," Echols said. "We want to spark change. We want unification of our people and to look at our brothers and sisters as kin, instead of strangers, and to teach our young black men to be men and how to take care of our black sisters and be accountable."
Along with state recognition, Echols was recognized by SI-All American as a candidate in the 10 off-ball linebacker.
After sorting through the elite off-ball linebackers nationally, SIAA released its top 10 prospects ahead of the 2020 season on Monday. It's the 11th of 14 positions to be ranked this offseason. The tail-end of the discussion featured candidates with the resume to contend for spots in either top 10.
These are the prospects right on the edge of the ranking, or honorable mention, listed alphabetically.
Power Echols, Charlotte (N.C.) Vance
6-foot-1, 210 pounds
Committed to North Carolina
A Tar Heel commit, Echols has one of the biggest motors of any defensive prospect in this class. His toughness and production are traits of a future starting ‘backer in the ACC. Echols is decisive and certain with his eyes and key recognition, plus he flashes twitchy athleticism that oftentimes allows him to be capable of using back doors during flow. Additionally, he plays bigger than his size at the point, showing shock value in the take-on phase and at collision points versus runners. He will need to acquire more reps in pass coverage, though there’s speed traits on tape that show he’s capable of running with backs and tight ends. As his game expands, there’s no reason for Echols to not ascend into a productive player for Mack Brown.
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