April 15, 2010
Signature play motivates Posey
COLUMBUS, Ohio - DeVier Posey turned to his right, then quickly back to his left before snagging a sharply-thrown pass from quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Posey held on the ball this time, hauling it in for perhaps the biggest touchdown reception for the Buckeyes in years.
It wasn't just any touchdown reception - it was the grab for the score that put Ohio State out of Oregon's reach in the fourth quarter of last season's 26-17 Rose Bowl victory over the Ducks, ending the Buckeyes' 3-game BCS bowl losing streak.
Perhaps the biggest catch of his career has yet to sink in for Posey as he currently partakes in spring drills with the rest of his teammates, but in the instance of a single play that lasted for maybe five seconds, he instantaneously turned from a young wide receiver into the big play wideout the Buckeyes are going to need to make a run for the national title in 2010.
"I still am kind of numb from that," Posey said of the play Tuesday. "I probably wont realize what happened until 10 years later, but I feel like it was a pretty big play for Ohio State and for me, but that's in the past."
It was the kind of play that could easily change the mindset of a young receiver. It was a catch that will be forever remembered in Ohio State's Rose Bowl history and currently was the play that pulled the Buckeyes out of hot water on the large stage of BCS bowl games.
But now looking back on it, instead of remembering it for the moment that it was, Posey remembers the Rose Bowl for what it could have been. This way of thinking, in his mind, is motivation for him to become perhaps the best wide receiver in the Big Ten Conference this year.
"Looking back at (the Rose Bowl) I saw a lot of things I could have done a lot better," said Posey, who finished the game with eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. "I feel like the only way of getting better than that is never settling for anything. It was a good play, but I could have had two great plays because I dropped one in the first quarter.
"I wish I could have the game back but I can't," he continued. "The only way to rise above that and get better from that is never settling for anything."
Ohio State wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell has noticed a different hop in Posey's step this spring. Much like his close friend Pryor has, Posey has gone from the younger guy with a lot of potential to a major leader for this Buckeye offense.
And while Posey already has a signature play in his career, it isn't good enough yet. Posey strives to be perfect, Hazell said, but sometimes that desire to achiever perfection can get in the wide receiver's head.
"Right now he's his biggest enemy because he looks for perfection in everything he does so when he makes a mistake it ruins him for a little while, and he's got to learn to get over that," Hazell said. "He is an exceptional receiver, one of the best we've had since I've been here, but he's got to learn to put some of those things he doesn't do as well as he'd lie to do behind him."
Posey is aware of what he does.
"I get mad at myself and that's a part of becoming a seasoned veteran, forgetting the small plays and the things you mess up on and going onto the next play," he said. "I am learning that and I am not afraid admit that I get mad at myself, but I cant really do that once the season rolls around and I am learning. I talk to Coach Hazell about that all the time. It is about being mature and being poised in those situations when you mess up and being able to come back."
But there isn't much Posey doesn't do well.
Coming off a season in which Posey finished sixth in the Big Ten Conference with 828 yards receiving off of 60 receptions and second in touchdown catches (eight), Hazell is expecting big things out of his No. 1 receiver.
Hazell said he sees glimpses of great receivers from the Buckeyes' recent past in Posey, but the junior is only concerned with one thing.
"I want to go from being a good receiver to a great receiver and those are just expectations for myself," he said. "like to set the bar high and I don't like settling for anything less than that. Every day I am out here I am hard on myself, I want to be perfect every single day, I don't want to have any missed assignments, no dropped balls.
"This is how I feel I have to be every day just to get better and be the player I want to be."
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