Stock rising for 2014 LB T.J. Posey

GADSDEN, Ala. -- T.J. Posey looks the part. He’s 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, and he hasn’t even started his junior year of high school.

As a 10th-grader, Posey got a chance to start at linebacker on varsity, and it didn’t take long for him to become a star. Behind that performance a year ago and the camps he attended this summer, the Gadsden native has seen his recruiting stock soar.

He now has scholarship offers from the likes of Arkansas, Clemson, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Purdue and Tennessee.

“It’s been crazy,” Posey said. “I didn’t expect it to happen like this. I was a basketball player, and then I started playing football in middle school. I played my ninth grade year up. I played special teams and a little bit on varsity. Last year, I started. I just did what they taught me to do, and I guess it started rolling.”

Of the schools that have already offered, Mississippi State stands out because of Posey’s relationship with linebackers coach Geoff Collins. However, the 2014 prospect is still hoping to earn offers from two more schools in particular: Alabama and LSU.

He attended camps at both schools this summer and earned high praise from UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at the Tide’s camp in July.

“It went well,” Posey said. “They were excited to see me. They just wanted me to improve from last year as a ninth-grader, so it was fun. It was up-tempo. Kirby Smart was speaking a lot of me.”

Posey returned to Tuscaloosa this month with a couple of his teammates for Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. This time it was his turn to watch how Alabama practices.

“It was good,” he said. “I got to see how they do their stuff. It was the first day they got to put on pads, and Nico [Johnson], he was acting crazy. He wanted a little contact. It was good for me to see how they practice because I’ve never been to a college fall camp.”

Gadsden High School used to be a pipeline for the Tide with top recruits Dre Kirkpatrick, Jerrell Harris and Kendall Kelly all coming to UA out of high school, but the 6A powerhouse hasn’t seen a player choose Alabama since 2009.

Still, Posey knows all about the Tide program from spending time with the former Gadsden stars in Tuscaloosa.

“I used to stay with them,” he said. “We went to camp with them. When we went to their games, we would stay the night with them and come back early Sunday and just have the whole experience. It was fun just being there with them.”

Will Posey be next in line? It’s too early to tell, but the in-state junior plans to visit Alabama this fall along with Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.