DeVier Posey Was the Leader Ohio State Needed
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It is impossible to know what runs through the mind of a 22-year old athlete, especially one who has been through, and put so many others through, as much as DeVier Posey has this season.
Photo by Dan Harker
Saturday was supposed to be Posey’s swan song, his heroic return in time to save the Buckeyes on Senior Day from what has otherwise been a very forgettable 2011 season.
This his was his moment—one last chance at redemption in front of 105,000 Ohio State fans in the stadium that first made him famous. They welcomed him back with open arms, and Posey played well in his return to football after 11 weeks of gutting it out on thescout team.
He caught passes and ran good routes. He got open—which is a rarity in and of itself with this team—and he selflessly blocked down field for teammates Braxton Miller and Boom Herron.
In many ways, Posey was the perfect teammate and perfect competitor Saturday in has final game at Ohio Stadium, but it wasn’t enough. Not for this team. Not after everything they have had to endure over the last year.
“At the end of the day we’re college kids and we’ve been through so much,” senior Michael Brewster said.
“That’s not an excuse, but that’s a fact.”
This was supposed to be the year Ohio State went back to the National Championship game—things certainly would have been wide open for them now after another crazy weekend in college football.
But these Buckeyes aren’t competing for national championships. They aren’t competing for much of anything these days. Not without three of their best players for half the season, not to mention their head coach and star quarterback, both of whom left the program in the off-season.
A season that was once full of so much promise has become one of the worst in recent Ohio State history thanks to another tough loss at home Saturday.
This team needed a leader. Someone to stand in the forefront. Someone they could follow into battle each and every week. Luke Fickell did his best to be that leader, but every good football coach knows that leadership starts in the locker room. Leadership comes from the guys no one wants to let down.
Leadership comes from the seniors.
That’s what made guys like James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Cam Heyward and Dane Sanzenbacher such good leaders. It wasn’t simply that they were the most vocal players in the locker room. They were the guys who commanded respect, and who earned it with their actions, both on and off the field. Guys went to war for them each and every week and left it all on the field because they knew those guys were doing the same.
DeVier Posey should have been that guy. He could have been the leader this team needed, along with the playmaker they so desperately lacked. He certainly tried, in spite of missing the first 10 games of the season for committing multiple NCAA violations.
“Who knows, maybe me coming back was just for those guys, to serve those guys, to show them how to do it,” Posey said after his final home game.
“That’s part of the reason I vowed to come back when we did our apologies. I wanted to be around these guys. I wanted to show these guys what it means to be a wide receiver here.”
What they needed was someone to show them how to be a man. How to fight back when they got punched in the mouth. How to win. They needed DeVier Posey and Boom Herron to inspire them, to make them believe. They needed someone they would go to battle for, fight for, even to the last inch.
But there was no fight in this team against Penn State. It has been stripped away over the course of a nightmarish season. Braxton Miller did his best to rally the troops, but he is only a freshman.
“You have to serve before you can lead,” Posey said.
This team needed a leader, a senior, and a captain who had earned the right to challenge every member of the team. Unfortunately their best leaders were also the guys who put them in this position to begin with.
Anyone who has spent much time around him knows that Posey is a thoughtful, even introspective, young man. This is not Terrelle Pryor, despite the fact Posey aligned himself with Ohio State’s formerly contemptuous quarterback. Posey is a natural-born leader. He’s a teacher, a coach on the field and a friend in the locker room for so many of these young Buckeyes.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t be the one thing they needed most. And he has no one to blame but himself.
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