Posey Finally Back with Bucks

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A full 10 games into the season and DeVier

Posey will finally be permitted to make an appearance for Ohio


Can he save the day?

Twice suspended by the NCAA and Ohio State for taking improper

benefits, first cash and tattoos for signed memorabilia and then

being overpaid for a summer job, now Posey has a lot on his

shoulders as he returns for the Buckeyes' game on Saturday against

No. 21 Penn State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten).

Some are counting on him adding an emotional boost for the

Buckeyes (6-4, 3-3). Others expect his presence to open things up

for Ohio State's one-trick pony of an offense.

Maybe Posey might just allow the Buckeyes to have a passing game

for a change.

"I think it's going to help the offense as a whole," said

running back Dan "Boom" Herron, who was suspended along with

Posey for five games for their roles in the tattoo scandal at Ohio

State. "He's definitely going to bring great leadership and he has

great experience. I'm sure he's going to get open because DeVier's

a great receiver. He can help us out by getting some first downs,

catching some balls down the field and it also helps kind of open

the run game up a little bit."

A year ago, Posey was second on the team behind current Chicago

Bears receiver Dane Sanzenbacher with 53 catches for 848 yards and

seven touchdowns. That's a chunk of offense to lose. With a

freshman quarterback now starting (Braxton Miller), the lack of a

go-to receiver has all but eliminated Ohio State going to the air.

Over the last five games, the Buckeyes are averaging just more

than five completions a game. That is clearly not enough to keep

defenses honest by preventing them from loading up against the run.

"It's a challenge," center Mike Brewster said of having to

fight off extra defenders on running plays. "It's just something

that we've kind of gotten used to now. They know what we're going

to do and we just have to continue to try and grind it out and get

the job done anyway. Getting DeVier back definitely adds a threat

out there, so hopefully that'll help us."

Many of his teammates admire how he's handled his two

suspensions, each one five games in length.

"I was kind of amazed at how positive he stayed," said

defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, yet another player who also sat

out the first five games due to Tattoo-gate. "Being in his shoes,

I don't know if I would have held together like he did. We're

basically just always asking for advice. It's kind of weird. I'm

playing, my suspension's up and he's still suspended and I'm asking

him for advice and how to deal with things."

Posey returns just in time for senior day. Interim coach Luke

Fickell isn't sure how a crowd of 105,000 at Ohio Stadium will

respond to Posey when he's introduced before the game.

Will there be applause for those formerly suspended for staying

in school and continuing to practice without a game as a reward? Or

boos for making decisions that put themselves ahead of NCAA rules

and the team?

"I can't control that," Fickell said. "They've made a

mistake. They've served their penance. They've shown what they can

do in the way that they've handled themselves. (The fans) haven't

been there every day to see how they've been in that locker room,

what they've meant to those other guys, whether they were freshmen

or seniors along with them.

"So. hopefully they will understand that and give them their


The bottom line is that Posey's teammates appear to be thrilled

he's back. How much impact he has on the offense is almost

secondary to his presence on the field or on the sideline.

"DeVier's a good dude," Thomas said. "It's going to pay off

for him being humble and handling it the way he did. He's just

going to make the best of his two games. He doesn't point fingers

and he doesn't blame anybody. You can ask any of the younger guys -

he's still an outright leader on our team. He still leads.

"It's amazing."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)