Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Posey quickly blossoms for Buckeyes
By ESPN.com staff ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
DeVier Posey remembers the conversation like it happened yesterday.
"Hey, how you doing?" Posey asked Terrelle Pryor. "We’ve played each other many times in the AAU circuit in basketball."
Pryor already knew who Posey was, but Posey made sure the nation's top high school football recruit had no misgivings. Posey explained how he played for the D1 Greyhounds AAU squad and had faced Pryor's team, Pittsburgh's Finest, in tournaments back when they were in middle school.
Charles LeClaire/Getty Images
DeVier Posey has recorded 45 receptions for 672 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
"I was like, 'I'm playing football now, and I saw you play football, so we should play together,'" Posey said. "And I don't know, it just sparked from there."
Posey committed to play wide receiver for Ohio State in March 2007. Almost exactly a year later, Pryor signed on with the Buckeyes.
"[Pryor] was our No. 1 target as far as our recruiting class goes," Posey said. "As much as the coaches were recruiting him, we were recruiting him more."
The two have formed one of the Big Ten's top big-play connections this fall, hooking up 45 times for 672 yards and seven touchdowns. Six of Posey's seven scoring grabs have been 23 yards or longer and three have stretched 57 yards or longer, including a 62-yarder in last week's victory at Penn State.
Posey is tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions and ranks fifth in receiving yards (67.2 ypg).
"It was always our dream once we got here," Posey said of himself and Pryor, "but I don’t know if we pictured how things are going right now."
Posey, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sophomore from Cincinnati, said he could have played his college ball elsewhere and become a No. 1 wide receiver as a freshman. Instead, he came to Ohio State knowing he would play sparingly behind mainstays Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline.
He had only 11 receptions last fall but still came away from the season a better player.
"With the receiver tradition that they have here, I knew I’d be able to be behind an NFL receiver and see an NFL receiver every day," he said. "Rather than having a coach tell me, I could see it and visualize it and be a visual learner. That was a big thing for me. Being behind guys like Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline, I learned a lot."
Posey tagged along with Robiskie and Hartline this summer as they trained for the NFL. And whenever Ohio State's former star wideouts like Anthony Gonzalez and Santonio Holmes return to campus, Posey makes sure to see them.
"He wants to be good," Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said. "He’d be the first to tell you he’s a long way from where he’d like to be, but he’s working to progress and he has come up with some big catches. We need him to be a guy that when his number is called, he makes the play."
The big play is one of few calling cards for Ohio State's offense this year, as Pryor and the unit have endured ups and downs. But the Buckeyes gained confidence from the Penn State win and look for a repeat performance in another big game Saturday against No. 10 Iowa (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).
"I always feel like when it’s a big game, I’ll show up," Posey said. "It’s just something with my confidence level. And when my number’s called, I'll be ready."