“I’m just trying to take it day by day and take every moment in. This is going to be one of the last times I get to wear a Scarlet jersey and I can’t even count on more than one hand how many times I get to put this jersey on.”
Those were the words of Ohio State senior receiver DeVier Posey during the week leading up to OSU’s matchup with Nebraska Oct. 8, when it was thought Posey was going to be returning from a five-game suspension to make his season debut.
As it turned out, an additional five-game suspension resulting from improper payments at a summer job was levied on Posey prior to that game, keeping him on the sidelines.
Posey is slated to return for this Saturday’s game against Penn State and he, along with 23 fellow seniors, can now count with a single finger the number of times they will get to put on a Scarlet jersey and play at Ohio Stadium. The seniors have compiled a 39-10 record heading into the matchup against the Nittany Lions, but the 2010-11 season’s 12-1 record was vacated due to players, including Posey, receiving improper benefits.
This week’s two-deep depth chart lists Posey as a co-starter at receiver along with sophomore Corey “Philly” Brown, who missed last week’s game at Purdue with an ankle injury. First-year coach Luke Fickell said that Posey will have the chance to start in his first game back from suspension, just as running back Daniel “Boom” Herron and offensive tackle Mike Adams did when they returned.
“(Posey) will have an opportunity (to start),” Fickell said. “We’ll see how practice goes and we’ll see as we get closer to game time.”
In whatever capacity he plays, the return of Posey will be a welcome addition to an OSU passing attack, which has averaged just 117 yards per game. It should benefit freshman quarterback Braxton Miller to have a veteran receiver in Posey. With 25 starts and 124 career receptions, he is by far the most accomplished receiver on the Buckeyes’ roster. Fickell said he believes Posey will provide “a spark” to the offense.
“He’ll be playing his last game at home,” Fickell said. “And those guys, just like when (Herron returned), you look around and you’re in the huddle and you’ve got a guy that’s got some confidence and has been there and done it, hopefully they can feed off that. That’s what we’re looking for.”
All of the OSU seniors will receive the customary Senior Day honor of being introduced individually Saturday, and Fickell said he hopes Posey and the other players who served suspensions over the course of this season will still receive a warm welcome from the crowd when they are introduced.
“They’ve made a mistake,” Fickell said. “They’ve served their penance. They’ve shown what they can do in the way that they’ve handled themselves … so hopefully (the fans) will understand that and give them their due.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game against the Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.