SAN ANTONIO – DeVier Posey watched as one wide receiver after another caught one-handed passes. It was the first drill in Monday's opening practice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Posey said it was then that he realized this was for real.
"Everybody made it look so easy," Posey said. "Everybody is good. That was pretty funny and it totally hit me right there. You look up and everybody is an All-American. It's a crazy feeling to be playing with guys of your caliber.
"You see them on the Internet all the time. They're from Florida, and they're from California and you're just talking to them. Getting to know everybody is the best part of the week."
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Posey, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect from Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle, verbally committed to Ohio State in March and was one of the East's most productive receivers in the first practice. Rivals.com rates him as the third-best receiver in the senior class.
After warm-up drills, Posey caught a pass from the nation's top prospect, Terrelle Pryor, who zipped the ball past two defenders, on the first play of 7-on-7 work. The Pryor-to-Posey connection stayed consistent all day. Pryor has already visited Ohio State. He plans trips to Florida, Michigan and Duke and hasn't decided whether Penn State or Oregon will get a visit before his decision.
"(Pryor) was looking for me and I'm never going to complain if a quarterback is looking for me but not only Terrelle but (East quarterbacks) MarQueis Gray and Star Jackson also looked good," Posey said. "They're all great athletes and can play. It's a different feeling out there with guys like that."
With so many wide receiver targets, the East quarterbacks should have a field day pitching it and letting Posey, DeAndre Brown, Brice Butler, Jonathan Baldwin and others make things happen. Notre Dame commit John Goodman will also be used at wide receiver and he showed off a strong arm as well.
The biggest surprise at receiver on the first day was Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha's Kenny Tate, who caught pretty much everything thrown his way. Tate, rated as the 27th best athlete by Rivals.com, has already visited Illinois and Maryland.
Plans to see Florida and Penn State are also in the works. East assistant coach Terry Smith, the head coach at Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway, said he has been impressed with the wide receiver depth.
"It's a tremendously talented group," Smith said. "We have a lot of big receivers and we're just trying to get them acclimated to the system we're going to run. So they're second guessing things but you can see the athleticism is there.
"There is not really a weak link. All the guys can all catch the football and all move well and as the week goes on they'll all get better. They'll get back into the flow of football and by the end of the week we should see a big show."
Brown's physical attributes have impressed many onlookers. Smith called the Ocean Springs (Miss.) standout a 'freak of nature.' Posey said he has never seen a receiver quite like Brown, who is 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds but glides through his routes and uses his height against small defenders.
Brown said Sunday that LSU, Ole Miss, Florida, Texas Tech and Southern Mississippi were his top five schools. He was a standout at the recent Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and is a constant matchup problem.
"To be that tall and that athletic and agile and catch the football, that's what every kid dreams about," Smith said.
Said Posey: "You see us as guys with the names on the backs of our jerseys. When we're playing we can't see the names on our back so we're just playing. I know the players out there are great but I'm just trying to do what I can do. It has been real fun."