Ryan Powers may be several hundred miles from home living a dream, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Last week, the University of Arkansas linebacker spent time in his hometown of Tanner visiting with family and friends while taking a short break from college before beginning summer classes. He also took time to stop by his alma mater and talk with several current Rattlers as they wrapped up spring practice.
“I just want the kids to know that they can go Division I on a scholarship if they work hard,” Powers said. “Seeing someone go to the SEC from Tanner shows that it can be done and that they’re not being overlooked; they’ve seen Rashad (Langford) and I both do it.”
For Tanner head football coach Laron White, having former players visit is always a joy.
“I always enjoy seeing them come back,” White said. “He showed the guys a few things while he was here and we talked about school and expectations.”
While in a Rattler uniform, Powers was a two-way starter for White. As a senior, he led his prep squad to the third round of the Class 2A state playoffs as he racked up 503 yards and six touchdowns in his first seven games. It wasn’t until his sophomore season that he began thinking about playing football collegiatly.
“I started getting letters my junior year and that started expanding my head,” Powers said. “By my senior year, I had established that I was going somewhere to play. I never envisioned that I would be playing Division I ball, let alone at an SEC school.”
Powers chose the Razorbacks over Southern Miss, Alabama, and Memphis, among others.
His advice to those wishing to pursue a college football career, is to stay focused and listen to what coaches have to say.
“I told them to listen to what Laron has to say,” Powers said. “He’ll lead you in the right direction. One thing he taught me is to push hard. If you have an obstacle, just push hard and go ahead and do it. It’ll make you a better man. The other is to stay on your grades. Focus on the books and get the GPA up so you can get a scholarship.”