Cincinnati LaSalle wide receiver DeVier Posey is one of five players representing Ohio in this week's U.S. Army All-American Bowl featuring the top high school football players in the country.
Matt Natali is on hand in San Antonio and caught up with Posey to discuss the week's events and the All-American experience.
With Dublin Coffman teammates Mike Adams and Jake Stoneburner, Cincinnati Elder tight end Kyle Rudolph, Westerville Central kicker/punter Ben Buchanan and Cincinnati LaSalle wide receiver DeVier Posey all participating, the Ohio contingent is strong amongst the country’s top players.
Posey, a Division I first team All-Ohio selection following a senior season that included 48 catches for 776 yards and eight touchdowns and who is rated as the No. 24 receiver in the country by ESPN.com, is excited to be representing Ohio in the All-American Bowl.
“It is a different level (of football) but I feel like I am prepared,” said the Ohio State recruit. “I have wanted to be here and I feel like I came into practice really focused wanting to represent Ohio, my family and represent Ohio State. I think it has been fun.”
Posey noted the speed of the game in practices and how much faster the players are at this level.
“It’s fast. My legs are sore because I am not used to going that fast,” he said. “If you take a play off going against our defense in practice, you might get hurt. You can’t take any plays off.
“It is like going against a college team because these guys are going to some of top schools in the country and might even go to the NFL so it is preparing me for the next level of football. I think this is the first step for college – just playing at this speed.”
With a full schedule of practice, awards banquets and media interviews during the week, Posey feels his experience at the All-American Bowl is preparing him for college off the field as well.
“We are getting a taste of what it is like at the next level. This is what it is going to be like – people pulling you in different directions, telling you what to wear with logos but it is a business,” he said. “This is our first taste of the business of football. But I think it is a good part about coming down here to get to see this and how to act. It is a real good experience for us because this is what it is going to be like in college.”
A star on the basketball court for LaSalle as well, Posey made the decision to forgo his senior season on the hardwood to focus on training and preparing for college football and has gotten up to 205 pounds.
“I have been training really hard since the last football game,” he said. “I am making a bunch of gains in the weight room. This is my first winter being able to lift not playing basketball so I am really excited.”
Posey will run track in the spring in the 200-meter and 400-meter events and will run the 100-meter for the first time before heading to Columbus.
“I just want to show everybody how fast I am,” he said about running the 100-meter event this spring.
He has had steady contact with Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell but has not talked to the staff since arriving in San Antonio. Posey has also gotten a new perspective on his future school this week from some of the other players around the country participating in the Bowl.
“When the players talk to each other about their schools and Ohio State is brought up in the room, it gets quiet,” he explained. “That right there has given me a whole other respect for getting an offer from Ohio State. I respect that more now after just being down here for two days. We’re all from Ohio and we take it for granted because it is familiar to us but when you hear guys from California talk about Ohio State it makes me feel even more blessed that I got an offer.
“It just hit me that people really do respect Ohio State and it has made my love for Ohio State even more.”
And if all goes as planned, Posey is hoping to earn a starting spot once he gets to Columbus.
“I really want to come in and play but I think anybody coming into Ohio State wants to play. It is every freshman’s goal,” he said. “Coach Tressel and coach Hazell play the best players and I think if I come in ready to work hard and prove I can play at that level and play with those guys I think it can go well. Hopefully if I am fortunate enough and not have any injuries, I can step on the field next season”
But first, Posey is focused on representing Ohio on the East squad Saturday at 1:00 p.m. EST (NBC) at the Alamodome in the All-American Bowl.
“It is something that I wish everybody could experience. It is one of those experiences that I will never get again. I appreciate this so much and I am so happy that I am here. I think it is a dream. I am just waiting to go back to my hotel and go to sleep and wake up in Cincinnati. I am fortunate to be here and I am real happy about this,” he said.
Kickin’ It With Buchanan
Ben Buchanan suffered a bone spur in his left foot and is only punting this week as a result. Kyle Walsh (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has taken over the place kicking and kickoff duties.
Buchanan (6-1, 185) nailed 14 field goals this season for 73 points as Westerville Central finished a dismal 3-7.
He averaged 30.6 yards per punt this season and 41 yards for his career.
The Ohio State recruit was named to the All-Ohio first team for the second straight season.
The buzz around practice this week is how well Mike Adams has played anchoring the East squad’s offensive line.
“He is having a real good week,” Posey said of his future Ohio State teammate. “‘Big Mike’ is playing like he has something to prove out there this week.”
Adams (6-8, 300) is rated as the No. 1 player in Ohio’s class of 2008 by Ohio High magazine and is rated as the No. 6 overall offensive lineman in the country by ESPN.com.
Mike and Mike in San Antonio
ESPN radio personality and former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic was on hand for practice today. His son, Mike Golic, Jr., is an offensive lineman for the East squad and is a Notre Dame recruit.