Former All-Ivy player becomes second Penn free-agent signee in a month.
April 26, 2004
Cincinnati - Former University of Pennsylvania football letterwinner Michael Powers has joined the Cincinnati Bengals, signing a free agent contract with the National Football League (NFL) team on April 26, one day after the 2004 NFL Draft. Powers becomes the fourth former-Quaker on a current NFL roster and third Ivy League Class of 2004 member to join an NFL team this weekend.
Powers joins former-teammates Vince Alexander and Rob Milanese, and former-Quaker Jim Finn, as one of four former Red and Blue student-athletes on a current NFL roster. Alexander signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals on April 2, while Milanese was signed as a free agent by the New York Jets on Jan. 6. Finn joined the New York Giants as a free agent last summer after spending the past three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. All four players were former All-Ivy selections under current Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli. Powers becomes the 12th former Quaker under Bagnoli to be signed or drafted by an NFL team.
Powers helped anchor an offensive line, which saw all five of its starters garner All-Ivy honors in 2003, produce a running back with 1,266 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, a quarterback throw for 2,470 yards and 26 touchdowns and a wide receiver pull down 1,067 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2003. The Quakers' offensive line allowed the second fewest sacks in the Ivy League (12) while Penn's offense finished second in the Ancient Eight in scoring (34.6 ppg), third in rushing (170.8 ypg) and third in passing (267.4 ypg) last season.
A product of Mountain Brook High School, the Birmingham, Ala. native received honorable mention for All-Ivy League in 2003. Powers received the Penn Football Football Club Award for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2001 after stepping into the starting lineup in week four. He appeared in 29-straight games to end his career, starting the final 10, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Quakers, earning Ivy League championship rings for the past two seasons.
Penn finished the 2003 season as the only undefeated team in I or I-AA with a 10-0 overall record and a 7-0 Ivy League mark. The Red and Blue ended the campaign ranked 12th in I-AA after becoming the first team in 10 years to capture back-to-back Ivy League crowns, as well as just the second team in Ancient Eight history to post back-to-back perfect Ivy seasons. The Quakers will begin defense of their 13th Ivy League banner on the West Coast on Sept. 18 at the University of San Diego.
Written by Rich Schepis, associate director of athletic communications