Ricky Powers

Ricky Powers

Richard "Ricky" Powers (born November 30, 1970) is a former running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Browns, and a former University of Michigan Wolverines football co-captain. In the NFL, he had a brief career with the Browns during their final season before they relocated to become the Baltimore Ravens after starring for the Wolverines. His career ended due to being lost in the shuffle when the Browns moved to Baltimore and changed coaching staffs. In college, he set the Michigan football freshman rushing record that stood 14 seasons, and as a sophomore was the leading rusher for the team during Desmond Howard's Heisman Trophy-winning season. At Michigan, he was a member of three consecutive Big Ten Conference football champions. In high school, he was the star running back of the two-time Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) football championship team at Buchtel High School, where he has returned to coach baseball and football.

High school

Powers was both born and raised in Akron, where he led the Buchtel High School football team to back-to-back OHSAA championships, as well as being named a high school All-American. Powers graduated from Buchtel in 1990 after leading them to the 1988 and 1989 Ohio Division II state high school championships. Powers rushed for 1,700 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior (including 289 yards against Nordonia High School in a playoff game) and 2,014 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior. He and Robert Smith, who chose to go to rival Ohio State, were the two top football prospects in Ohio and the nation in 1989. Smith was named the top player in Ohio, but Powers was named the top player in the nation by the Dallas Morning News. Powers was recruited by both the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes.


Powers, who wore #12 for the Michigan Wolverines football program from 1990 to 1993, shared the tailback position with Jon Vaughn as a freshman and Tyrone Wheatley as a junior and senior. Although he was only the official starter for one game as a freshman in 1990, he set the Michigan freshman rushing record with 789 rushing yards, a record broken by Mike Hart in 2004. That season, he led the Wolverines, who three-peated as Big Ten Conferecne Champions, to victories in their last four games with 100-yard rushing efforts in each game, and tied Vaughn with five 100-yard rushing efforts. The next year, as a sophomore, he started eleven of twelve games and was named to the All-Big Ten Conference team. Although as a sophomore in 1991 he led the team in rushing with 1251 yards, he shared the spotlight with Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard. That 1991 team would again win the Big Ten Conference Championship, and it would produce eighteen National Football League draftees between 1992 and 1995. In 1992 and 1993, his offensive totals were lower than in 1991 because he was sharing playing time with Tyrone Wheatley. However, in 1993, he was named Michigan Football Co-Captain of a five-time Big Ten Conference team. Powers currently ranks 13th on the all-time Michigan rushing yards list with 2680 career yards. Powers obtained his bachelors degree in kinesiology. Both the 1991 and 1992 Conference Champions went to the Rose Bowl.

Professional career

In the NFL, Powers, who measured and , was signed as a free agent in 1994 by the Detroit Lions, but he was waived before the season started. He later that year signed with the Cleveland Browns, joining their practice squad. He remained on the practice squad until being promoted to the regular roster for the final three games of the 1995 National Football League season. He totaled 51 yards on 14 rushes, one six-yard pass reception, and three kickoff returns for a total of 54 yards. When the Browns relocated following the 1995 season to become the Baltimore Ravens, and Ted Marchibroda replaced Bill Belichick as coach, Powers got lost in the shuffle. He dabbled with World League of American Football afterwards, but soon retired.

In 2007, Powers assumed the football coaching duties at his high school alma mater, Akron Buchtel High School, where he has been the head baseball coach since 2004. At Buchtel, he inherits a football team that has a tradition of producing major college scholarship athletes and a few professional ones. Recent Buchtel Griffins who have become professional athletes include Antonio Pittman, Charlton Keith, and Ramon Walker. For 2007 and 2008, Buchtel competes in Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II, which is for schools with enrollments of between 365 to 523. Buchtel has qualified for the state tournament 9 times in the past as both a Division II and Division III entrant, but they were not among the 32 teams in the 120 team Division II class to qualify in 2007.

See also


External links

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