HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Dylan Powell's trip back to Bloomington, Ind., following a weekend with his family was rather mundane, as the five-hour trip tends to be.
The news awaiting him once there was far more intriguing.
Powell learned Monday morning he had been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, So the offensive lineman who transferred from Stanford to Indiana in January will have two years of eligibility remaining, and as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play this fall.
"That was huge," said Powell, the Hannibal product who was the 2015 Herald-Whig Player of the Year following a two-time all-state career. "I was kind of expecting that to happen, but I had to fill out the waiver and had to wait for the NCAA to respond."
Until he received confirmation, there was a slight flicker of concern.
"They told me there was a 99.9 percent chance I would get it, but you never know with the NCAA," Powell said. "I'm thankful they gave me that extra year."
Powell redshirted his first season at Stanford before rotating as a backup at guard and center for two seasons. Projected to be a starter last fall, the 6-foot-3, 281-pound lineman suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery to repair tears in his labrum and rotator cuff.
He planned to continue his rehabilitation throughout the winter and spring and forego the opportunity to participate with the Hoosiers in spring practice before the coronavirus pandemic canceled spring workouts and shut the school down.
"I was able to do the non-contact part of workouts, which was helpful in getting used to the system and everything else," Powell said.
Since the pandemic led to on-campus learning being shut down, Powell has spent time in Hannibal and Bloomington working out, lifting weights and finishing his rehabilitation.
"I've been bouncing back and fourth between home and here," Powell said. "We've had a group of guys here doing workouts whenever and wherever we could get them in. It's been nice to continue to build those bonds with them."
It has him on track to play when practices begin in August.
"I will be 100 percent," Powell said.
He will get to show that soon.
The Hoosiers are expected to bring the first wave of players back to campus next week with ongoing testing for the coronavirus and safety precautions being put in place. Team workouts are scheduled to begin June 15.
It'll be the start of Powell's chance to make a mark on the Indiana program. And thanks to being granted the sixth year of eligibility, he will have ample time to do so.
"It gives me the reassurance that I'll be able to stay here and able to help build the program here at Indiana," Powell said. "I'll be able to continue to build the relationships I've already built here. It gives me the opportunity to go out and prove myself to everybody and to myself that I can get where I want to be."
Right now, that's healthy and strong.
In a broader view, that's playing professionally.
"Everybody's goal is to make it to the NFL and I'd love to do that," Powell said. "But I have a lot to prove this year, just getting into the system and earning a starting role here and earning everything I can here."