PHILADELPHIA - Seniors Jared Mollenbeck and Josh Powers of the University of Pennsylvania football team earned ESPN First-Team Academic All-District honors on Thursday and are now eligible for Academic All-America accolades. The academic awards are voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of
Powers has started 21 consecutive games for the Quakers and was a 2009 recipient of this award. Powers is fifth on the team with 29 tackles, has 1.5 tackles for loss, one interception and a forced fumble. Penn currently has the No. 1 rush defense in the FCS and has the seventh-best defense in the nation overall. The Fishers, Ind., native is also a two-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area recipient. He started every game last season for the No. 1-ranked defense in the FCS in helping Penn to an undefeated Ivy League title. Enrolled in the No. 3-ranked business school in the nation, Powers is holding a 3.42 GPA in Wharton.Mollenbeck has started 17 straight games, including all 10 for the Ivy League championship team last season. Penn currently ranks sixth in the country in fewest sacks allowed (four in seven games). Penn led the Ivy League with the fewest sacks allowed last season as well. The Quakers currently average 219.43 rushing yards per game and are third in the Ivy League in total offense. Mollenbeck, a native of Hampton, Iowa, is enrolled in Wharton where he was a member of the Dean's List in 2008-09 and carries a 3.57 GPA.
The All-America teams will be voted on beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9 and announced the following week.
Mollenbeck, Powers and the Quakers head to Princeton on Saturday to take on the arch rival Tigers. The game can be seen on national TV on the VERSUS Network at 3 p.m.