There were two places DeVier Posey probably thought he’d be this week when thinking about it a year ago — the NFL or returning as Ohio State’s No. 1 option at wide receiver.
He’s in neither position.
Despite being one of the most talented wide receivers in the Big Ten, Posey instead has found himself taking reps with the reserves during Ohio State’s fall camp, simultaneously bracing himself for the five-game suspension he must serve to kick off the season.
Forced off to the side for months because of his involvement in Ohio State’s infamous tattoo scandal where he and other players sold personal memorabilia for cash and other benefits, Posey finds himself in a role he never thought he would be in this early in life.
He’s been a coach.
“I didn’t know how much I actually knew about our offense or the things I knew about what we do as team because you really don’t know things until you’re teaching it to someone else,” Posey said.
“It’s been a good opportunity for me. I feel these past eight months I have been down enough. I decided a long time ago to put the past in the past and move forward. By taking this approach, I have learned a lot. It’s been great to share all the things I know with the team.”
Though Posey has done what he can to teach his youthful teammates about the physical intricacies of playing receiver, it’s likely he taught them more about the importance of staying out of trouble off the field.
The scandal Posey was involved in — which also included former quarterback Terrelle Pryor and others — started the negative attention toward Ohio State that eventually ended with the demise of Jim Tressel and the premature departure of the quarterback.
Posey, however, vowed from the point of his initial apology for his actions to return to Ohio State for his senior season to leave the program on a positive note. He’s doing so by trying to help Ohio State move forward on the field.
“He feels like he has a second chance right now and you make a decision when you’re at that crossroad, whether you’re going to falter or you’re going to use it to push you forward,” wide receivers coach Stan Drayton said.
“He is using it as motivation and he feels that he is obligated to keep the tradition alive here at Ohio State, so he is putting so much effort both on and off the field around these young guys and making sure they understand what Ohio State football is all about.”
When his five-week suspension is up, the Buckeyes will welcome back one of the best receivers in the conference, as Posey is coming off a big season as a junior in which he hauled in 53 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns.
Though Posey could be primed to finish the second half of his senior year with big numbers, which more than likely will help him join Pryor in the NFL next season, his selfless focus has been helping younger players develop.
Remember, the Buckeyes will rely on a group of wide receivers that have little-to-no experience on the field this fall. Taking reps with the first team this fall has been Corey Brown and Verlon Reed. Brown, the only one of the two who caught a pass last year, returns for his sophomore season with eight receptions.
“He’s had a great attitude and is really helping us out,” Brown said. “He is a great receiver and he has been a huge help. He pulls me off to the side and coaches me, he gets on my case when I do something wrong. Having him has been a great help.”
As a constant big play threat, Posey obviously is looking forward to returning to the field so he can join the youngsters he’s been steadily helping progress.
Drayton can’t wait, either.
“It’s going to be great when we get him back, he’s a heck of a receiver,” Drayton said. “I have been very impressed with him in the way he has handled this adversity and he’ll be a great example for everyone on the football team on how to overcome things.”
For now, he’ll settle for contributing as a mentor.
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