Photo illustration by Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor (Photo) Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Perhaps the most intriguing of the four former Ohio State football players participating in Saturday’s Senior Bowl is wide receiver DeVier Posey, who played just three games during this past season as a result of suspensions for NCAA rules violations.
One analyst from ESPN still thinks Posey has time to improve his draft stock, and Posey said that is what he intends to do in the days leading up to Saturday’s showcase of NFL-hopefuls.
Posey, along with former Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor, defensive end Solomon Thomas, tackle Mike Adams and Daniel “Boom” Herron, were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling OSU football memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos. Posey was then suspended for five additional games after it was revealed that Posey was over-compensated by former OSU football booster Robert DiGeronimo for work he did not complete during a 2011 summer job.
Posey was able to make the most of the few opportunities he had during this past season, catching 12 balls for 162 yards and two touchdowns in regular season games against Penn State and Michigan, and the 2012 Gator Bowl against Florida.
Given the few opportunities he had to impress during his senior season, Posey said he was surprised to get an invite to the Senior Bowl.
“I definitely thought that this was a long shot and that’s why I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to go out and show what I have,” Posey said. “I just want to make the most of my opportunity right now and can’t take it for granted at all. No days off and no plays off.”
Posey, along with center Michael Brewster, Adams and Herron, will compete on the Senior Bowl’s North team, which is coached by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings’ coaching staff. The South team will be under the guidance of the Washington Redskins’ staff.
Members of both teams had weight and height measurements taken Monday morning and began practice later in the day. Posey weighed in at 209 pounds and stood at 6-foot-1.
In an exclusive interview with The Lantern in November, ESPN college football analyst Todd McShay said the 10 games Posey missed due to suspension won’t be overlooked by NFL scouts.
But he also said Posey’s draft stock should continue to rise until the NFL Draft in April.
“(The suspensions) hurt him, but he played really well (against Penn State),” McShay said. “There’s enough time between now and April for him. I’m not saying he’s going to completely make up all the ground he’s lost, but I think he’ll work his way back. I had him as a third-round prospect based off of tape from last year. He’s so athletic and he should keep getting better. As long as the off-the-field stuff is not a big concern to scouts. From the scouts I’ve talked to, it doesn’t seem to be (a concern).”
Posey, who is on track to graduate from OSU in spring 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, snagged 136 receptions, 1,955 receiving yards and 18 receiving touchdowns during his time at OSU.
Posey has also contributed on the biggest stages when OSU competed in the postseason. During his sophomore season, the receiver dove and dragged his feet to haul in a touchdown pass from Pryor during OSU’s 27-16 Rose Bowl victory against Oregon on Jan. 1, 2010. Posey also caught a touchdown pass from Pryor during the Buckeyes’ 31-26 win against Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. That game, along with the entire 2010 regular season, was later vacated by the university as part of its self-imposed sanctions for NCAA violations.
The opportunity to strap on a piece of Scarlet and Gray equipment one final time means everything to Posey, he said.
“Just to have the opportunity to represent my school one more time and put on that helmet, I feel like it’s a true blessing,” Posey said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve been following this game since I’ve been in high school and I always thought that if I were around for four years in college, that I would definitely want the opportunity to represent my school and play against the best of the best.”
The opportunity to play against the best for Posey, Brewster, Adams and Herron will arrive Saturday when the Senior Bowl kicks off at 3 p.m. in Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on the NFL Network.
Michael Periatt contributed to this story.
This story is the first in a four-part profile series about the four former Ohio State football players who will compete in the 2012 Senior Bowl. Read tomorrow’s sports section in The Lantern for the second installment in the series.