Cornell Powell Sends Farewell Message to Clemson Nation

Clemson senior receiver Cornell Powell won't be spending a sixth year with the Tiger football program and is moving onto the NFL.
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Clemson senior receiver Cornell Powell won't be spending a sixth year with the Tiger football program. 

The surprise star of 2020 is on his way to the NFL, and he released a final message Sunday on social media thanking Tiger players, coaches and fans for their support. 

"The last 5 years have been nothing short of amazing from winning a national championship my first year to leaving it all on the field against OSU in the Sugar Bowl," Powell wrote. "The life lessons I learned here at Clemson will remain with me forever. Most importantly, I've gained brothers and created unbreakable friendships that will last a lifetime."

Powell had a career season in 2020, catching 53 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns. That production helped land him an invite last month to participate in Reese's Senior Bowl. 

Powell, who has gone from a non-starter in 2019 to a projected NFL draft pick in 2021, might also receive a chance to showcase his skills at the NFL combine in February. It's been quite a ride for the patient Powell. 

Entered 2020 with 40 career receptions for 329 yards and three touchdowns over 577 career snaps in 42 games … also posted seven kickoff returns for 182 yards prior to the 2020 campaign.

2020: Third-team All-ACC pick … caught two passes for 15 yards at Wake Forest … gained 25 yards on two catches vs. The Citadel … caught two passes for five yards vs. Virginia … gained 12 yards on two receptions vs. No. 7 Miami … recorded 50 yards and a touchdown on four receptions at Georgia Tech … caught two passes for 45 yards including a touchdown reception on the game’s opening drive vs. Syracuse … recorded a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 105 receiving yards in sharing team offensive player of the game honors vs. Boston College, as his 11 receptions tied for 10th-most in a game in school history … shared team offensive player of the game honors after posting six receptions for a then-career-high 161 yards at No. 4 Notre Dame, marking his first time recording 100 receiving yards in back-to-back games in his career … recorded six receptions for a career-high 176 receiving yards vs. Pitt, earning ACC Receiver of the Week and team offensive player of the game honors after notching his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game to tie a school record shared by Charlie Waters (1969), Tony Horne (1997), Rod Gardner (2000), DeAndre Hopkins (2012) and Sammy Watkins (2013) … became only the third Clemson player ever to record back-to-back 150-yard receiving games, joining DeAndre Hopkins in 2012 and Sammy Watkins in 2013 … registered 90 yards and a touchdown on four receptions at Virginia Tech, including a 65-yard touchdown reception … caught four passes for 59 yards in ACC Championship Game vs. No. 2 Notre Dame … led all players in Sugar Bowl with 139 receiving yards vs. No. 3 Ohio State, finishing the contest with two receiving touchdowns among his eight receptions … the 100-yard receiving game vs. the Buckeyes was his team-high fourth of the season, and his two touchdown receptions tied a Clemson bowl record set many times, including most recently by Travis Etienne in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl.

2019: Recorded 15 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns in 208 snaps over 15 games … caught a 13-yard pass vs. Georgia Tech and a two-yard pass vs. No. 12 Texas A&M … recorded his second career touchdown reception on a two-yard pass vs. Charlotte … added a reception at North Carolina … made two catches for seven yards vs. Florida State … recorded a 10-yard touchdown reception at Louisville … gained 25 yards on two catches vs. Boston College … hauled in three receptions for 46 yards vs. Wofford … caught a four-yard pass at NC State … gained 14 yards on two receptions at South Carolina.

2018: Recorded five catches for 63 yards in 65 snaps and averaged 29.2 yards on four kickoff returns in four games prior to redshirting … made a 42-yard catch in season debut vs. Furman while also contributing a 43-yard kickoff return … collected three catches for 17 yards and averaged 29.0 yards on two kickoff returns at Georgia Tech.

2017: Had eight receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown in 149 snaps over 14 games … had three kickoff returns for 65 yards … had a 14-yard reception and a 22-yard kickoff return against Kent State on Sept. 2 … had two receptions for 15 yards against Wake Forest on Oct. 7; named team special teams player-of-the-game … had a 22-yard kickoff return against No. 7 Miami (Fla.) in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 2.

2016: Had 12 receptions for 87 yards (nine games) … appeared in first collegiate game against Troy, recording a five-yard reception in 19 snaps … caught three passes in 42 snaps against SC State … snagged five passes for 44 yards at Georgia Tech in big road win … caught two balls for 15 yards at Boston College … saw six snaps at Wake Forest … had 11-yard reception in 24 snaps versus South Carolina.

Before Clemson: Rated as the No. 36 overall player in the nation by Rivals … fourth-best player in the state of North Carolina … rated No. 153 overall by Prep Stars … had outstanding game in the Shrine Bowl for North Carolina with 264 all-purpose yards and two scores … had 4-54 receiving and a touchdown, and had 4-203 on kickoff returns, including a 99-yard return for a touchdown … that was no surprise to anyone as Powell had a touchdown on a kickoff return in each of the first three games of the 2015 season … had incredible senior year, leading Rose High school to a 12-3 record and berth in the state championship … had 65 receptions for 1557 yards and 25 touchdowns … that is an average of 24 yards per catch … also had 23 rushes for 249 yards and five scores, he averaged 11 yards per rush … in terms of returns, had 21 kickoff returns for 754 yards and four scores, a 36-yard average … had 10 punt returns for 353 yards and four scores, a 35.3 average … overall, had 38 touchdowns in 2015, 25 receiving, five rushing, and eight on kick returns … first-team all-state as a junior and senior … had 67 receptions for 1248 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2014 … added 14-445 yards on kickoff returns for a 32-yard average … had 23 total touchdowns … in 2013, he had 47 catches for 1,228 yards and 21 touchdowns … had 24 total touchdowns … for his career, had 203 receptions for his 52 games for 4,301 yards and 68 touchdowns … had 110 rushes for 828 yards and 13 touchdowns, he averaged 7.5 yards per rush … had 1,200 kickoff return yards and 353 punt return yards … was also a four-year letterman in basketball … averaged 15 points per game as a freshman, 20.4 as a sophomore and 17.1 as a junior … 55 percent field goal shooter for his career, while averaging 17.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game … had 1,310 career points and 604 career rebounds … played his high school football for David Wojtecki … recruited by Dan Brooks and Jeff Scott.

Personal: Born Oct. 30, 1997 … earned degree in management in December 2020 … completed microinternship with WH Trucking in 2018.