12 Days: A Look Back At All-Big Ten Ricky Powers

With only 12 days left until the start of Michigan football, we look back at All-Big Ten tailback, Ricky Powers. The Akron, Ohio native came to Ann Arbor and played with the Wolverines from 1990 to 1993. Below are his highlights and achievements:


  • Powers 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 Conference 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.
  • 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.
  • In 1992 and 1993, his offensive totals were lower than in 1991 because he was sharing playing time with Tyrone Wheatley.
  • In 1993, he was named Michigan Football Co-Captain.
  • Powers currently ranks 13th on the all-time Michigan rushing yards list with 2680 career yards.
  • Both the 1991 and 1992 Conference Champions went to the Rose Bowl.


  • Powers signed as a free agent in 1994 by the Detroit Lions, but he was waived before the season started.
  • He ended up signing with the Cleveland Browns in 1995 and joined 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, he┬áretired after playing one season in the NFL.


  • In 2007, Powers assumed the football coaching duties at his high school alma mater, Akron Buchtel High School, where he has been the head coach since 2004.

Go Blue!

David Noe