Athens — The University of Tennessee has snagged another big offensive lineman out of Georgia.
Alan Posey, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle out of Clarke Central High picked the Vols from an offer list that included 15 schools. Posey chose a black UT cap with an orange T from a row of five hats representing his finalists — Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Cincinnati.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Posey, who ended up with 15 offers. “I liked all the schools. They all had their pros and cons. But every time I went to [Tennessee], I kept getting this gut feeling from everybody in the program, the coaches and the players, that it was where I wanted to be.”
The University of Georgia, which is located less than a mile from where Posey was making his announcement, was not among the teams to offer him.
Immediately after making his decision public before friends, family and media in the Gallery Room of the Clarke Central gymnasium overlooking Billy Henderson Field, Posey actually called Tennessee coach Derek Dooley to give him the news.
“I just wanted to let you know I’m a Vol,” Posey said on coach Leroy Ryals’ cell phone.
Dooley’s response? “He said he was glad to have me on board and was looking forward to signing a good class,” Posey said.
It wasn’t much of a surprise to Dooley, a fellow Clarke Central graduate. Posey said he told Dooley his plans while attending the Orange and White Spring game on April 17.
“It was an enjoyable process but I’m glad to have it over,” Posey said of recruiting.
Clarke Central coach Leroy Ryals pointed out to Posey’s teammates in the room that Posey not only was big and strong but earned this opportunity because he worked hard both academicalluy and athletically to be in this position. Posey is on track to graduate early and will enroll early at UT in January.
“I remember meeting him as a seventh grader,” Ryals said. “I think he was the same size then.”
Also in attendance was Posey’s rec league coach from Stonehenge Youth Association, Melvin Hays. Hays said it was evident that Posey was going to be a special player even as a 12-year-old. And it wasn’t just because he was bigger than everybody else.
“It was because of his work ethic,” Hays said. “He just worked harder than everybody else and listened to what you were telling him.”
Posey let it be known a while back that May 4th was the day he intended to make his decision. He was asked about the significance of that date.
“I always wanted to make my decision early so I could focus on my senior season,” he explained. “We had a good season last year but it didn’t end the way we wanted it to [as state runners-up]. So I’m looking forward to fixing that this year. Also my grandfather passed away on this day in 1993, so I wanted to honor him.”
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