Aiming For Separation

Separation. A lack of it from its wide receivers hurt Ohio State's chances against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. More of it could mean more playing time next season for DeVier Posey, who is aiming to separate himself from the pack and opposing defenders when he arrives this summer to become a Buckeye.

On the heels of Ohio State's loss to LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, a fair share of criticism was leveled at the OSU wide receiver corps. Facing a tough opponent from the Southeastern Conference, the Buckeye wideouts had a difficult time getting separation from the LSU defensive backs and it showed in the final passing numbers.

While that will undoubtedly give Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline and others something to work on during the offseason, it also had fans wondering if there might be another solution waiting in the wings. Cincinnati La Salle wide receiver DeVier Posey, a verbal member of OSU's class of 2008, is hoping he could be part of the equation.

A 6-3, 190-pound target who has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Posey's speed and size could enable him to get separation from opposing defensive backs at the next level.

"Ohio State has great receivers, but you have to give credit to the LSU defensive backs," Posey told BuckeyeSports.com. "I'm not sure what happened and I'm not saying I'm going to come in and be better and technically sound. I know Robiskie and Hartline, they're hard workers. I know they're going to use that game as motivation to work harder."

As a junior, Posey nabbed 35 catches for 750 yards and seven touchdowns, an average of 21.4 yards per catch. He improved on those totals as a senior, snagging 48 passes for 776 yards and eight touchdowns.

A speedster who is expected to make a run at the state 400-meter title in track this season, Posey does not possess typical burner speed. Rather than immediately being a burst off the line, Posey gains speed as he continues running.

At least, that's how La Salle head coach Tom Grippa sees it.

"He's not super fast out of the blocks and football is a game of short, quick bursts," Grippa said. "Once he catches the ball and starts running, he gains speed as he's going when everyone else is going down in speed. He's gaining speed."

As a senior, Posey was moved to the split end position in order to better take advantage of his talents.

"He had half of our catches," Grippa said. "We threw to him a lot and we moved him around so he was the inside slot receiver. The defense would have to do something special. If they played just regular then we knew we had a nice advantage over there."

One aspect of his game that will be crucial for Posey to develop is his ability to run routes. Although he has come a long way since his sophomore season, Grippa said, both Posey and his coach know there is still work to be done.

Becoming more disciplined in his route running will help Posey not only gain more separation on opposing defenses, but it will also help him to make plays against athletes who are more experienced than him.

"I always said to myself, ‘The little things are really the big things,' " Posey said. "In route running, the little things are really big. The little things are what you get you the big separation. The little things that you do, the way you tuck your shoulder and the way you make him open up his hips and the way you drive him downfield and come back, those are really big things to successful route running."

Posey plans to graduate this spring and enroll in summer classes at OSU. Between now and then he will participate in his senior track season and continue to work on his abilities as a wide receiver in an effort to challenge for playing time next season. Grippa, for one, said he does not think Posey will redshirt as a freshman.

It is all up to what the five-star prospect can accomplish when he gets to Columbus – and he knows it.

"My kind of outlook is just coming in and working hard and wherever hard work takes me, that's where I'll be," he said. "Hopefully some things happen where I can make it to the field, but I know if I work hard and come in ready to play and know the system that Coach (Jim) Tressel and Coach (Darrell) Hazell will play the guys that they feel are ready. I just hope that when my number is called, I'll be ready."


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