By FAKARI GRESHAM – Sports Writer, 2010-11
Originally published September 2010
Joking around in practice and lolly gagging during game time was typical for Clarke Central High School senior Alan Posey as a little league player. However, since then, football has become more than just a sport for Posey — it’s a way of life.
“I love football. I love the physicality and how every play it’s man versus man. No other sport is that way. The collisions, the hits — I love it,” Alan said. “I have so much passion for the game, and every day I give it my all.”
Alan first began playing organized football at 8 years old. Between third grade and eighth grade, he played for the Young Men’s Christian Association, Stonehenge Youth Association, Clarke Middle School and Athens Christian School. While playing with SYA, he won a Northeast Georgia Little League Championship.
“We earned (the championship). We beat everyone that we played,” Alan said.
Although he experienced winning, it was not until high school that he decided to take the game seriously.
“When you’re little, you’re just going through the motions. When I started working with the varsity (team), I noticed it was the real deal. In tenth grade is when I started to put in work instead of wasting everyone’s time,” Alan said. “Hard work pays off, it’s not just some saying — it really does.”
Alan has dressed with the CCHS varsity football team for four years and has been a starter for three as an offensive tackle. His breakout year came as a junior, with more than 80 pancake blocks recorded last season. However, the coaching staff still sees room for improvement in the 6’6 300-lb 17- year-old.
“I want him to be a leader as far as leading by example and work ethic, and playing to his capabilities,” CCHS head varsity football coach Leroy Ryals said. “His (best) football is ahead of him and he only has room for improvement. He is getting better and better every day.”
Not only did Alan’s play get CCHS coaches’ attention, but his efforts were also recognized by college coaches in January 2010. The Georgia Institute of Technology was the first college to offer Alan a spot on their team, and within a week, four other colleges came calling. After receiving a total of 15 Division-1 offers, Alan decided on his top five choices: University of Tennessee, GT, University of Clemson, University of Maryland and the University of Cincinnati. But the Volunteers appealed to Alan the most.
“Like Athens, I really felt at home (at Tennessee),” Alan said. “Also, I get to come back here every two years and play in Athens, so I felt it was a place that I could really feel at home at and grow athletically and academically.”
Another influence in his choice was his connection with the coaching staff at UT. Head coach Derek Dooley and assistant coach Chuck Smith are former CCHS football players who played in the 1980s. The Gladiator bond sealed the deal for Alan.
“(Dooley) would sit me down and talk to me. I would talk to him a lot about how he played in the ‘80s,” Alan said. “On my offer letter that (Dooley) signed he put, ‘from one Gladiator to another,’ so that really influenced my decision.”
Alan signed his letter of intent to play football at UT on May 4, 2010. According to National collegiate Athletic Association rules, a junior in high school may only verbally commit to a school; only seniors may formally sign a solid commitment. Despite the flexibility of the NCAA’s rules, Alan’s decision will not change.
“Tennessee is a great program that prepares people to be successful,” Posey said. “The players, coaches and support staff just made me feel at home. I just can’t wait to get on Rocky Top and give my all to Tennessee.”