ECU Countdown to Kickoff: No. 5 Jack Powers
East Carolina is inside of 10 days of kickoff, when the Pirates take on Michigan on Sept. 2 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. To count down the days to kickoff, we will be utilizing the Pirates' football roster to help us, going in numerical order from the highest number on the roster to the lowest.
We continue the countdown with No. 5 as we are 5 days away from kickoff, and outside linebacker Jack Powers. With there being two No. 5s on the roster, we also profiled wide receiver Chase Sowell earlier Monday. That piece can be read here.
POSITION: Outside linebacker
HOMETOWN: Granite Bay, Calif.
HIGH SCHOOL: Granite Bay
FORMER COLLEGE: Nevada
CLASS: Redshirt Senior
SINCE COMING TO ECU: Powers has only been at East Carolina for one season, but he has a story that's relatable to a lot of past Pirate standouts. After starting his career as a walk-on at Nevada, Powers worked his way up from the scout team, to special teams, to the defensive depth chart with the Wolf Pack, finding a role on game days his last two years in Reno. Powers ended up participating in 19 games during his time with Nevada. All that playing time came in 2020 and 2021, when he totaled 23 tackles, including four tackles for loss, to go along with 1.5 sacks.
With two years of eligibility remaining, and as a college graduate, Powers hit the transfer portal in December of 2021. He made his way to East Carolina, choosing the Pirates and traveling across the country from his California home to continue his college career. Wearing No. 24 a season ago, Powers became a vital depth piece behind starting outside linebacker Jeremy Lewis as the season went along, and was one of the team's best players on special teams. Powers played in all 13 games in his first year with the Pirates, logging 374 total snaps. He played 175 defensive snaps and 199 snaps on special teams alone. In total, Powers was credited with 25 tackles, with three tackles for loss and a sack. He made at least one stop in each game.
At the conclusion of the season, Powers and linebacker Eric Doctor Jr. took home the award for Special Teams Player of the Year at ECU's team banquet. With a sixth year of eligibility still to use, Powers elected to return for another year of college football as a sixth-year senior in 2023.
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2023: Powers has quietly had one of the best offseasons of any player in the program. He's gotten stronger, quicker and more explosive, and much more comfortable in East Carolina's defensive scheme. Much of that was due to spring ball, where Powers got virtually all the first-team reps with Lewis sidelined following an offseason procedure. Lewis is now back and healthy, and he's an all-conference candidate at outside linebacker himself. So Powers may not start come the season opener, but he will likely be utilized quite a bit as a rotational piece defensively, and there's a good chance we could see two of Lewis, Powers and talented sophomore Samuel Dankah from the 'RUSH' position on the field at the same time. Look for Powers to be employed as a special teams weapon like last year once again, and probably see his snap count defensively increase quite a bit year-over-year.piece can be read hereFORMER COLLEGE: