August 13, 2010

Posada is too tough for opponents to handle

Relying on four-star signal-caller Phillip Ely, Tampa Plant High School was known as a pass-first offense in 2009. But when weather dictated the Panthers run the football in the Florida Class 5A quarterfinals vs. Countryside, they had a secret weapon - Michigan's newest commitment, Tony Posada …

"They have a reputation as a bit of a finesse team because they've always had great quarterbacks and now have the kid that just committed to Alabama, but in our game we were dealing with Big Ten weather - rain, wind, and the field became too muddy for the quarterbacks to throw it," then-Countryside coach John Davis said.

"We thought maybe we had them but they made the decision in the second half to turn the football over to [five-star tailback] James Wilder and they just ran behind Posada play after play after play, and there was really nothing we could do about it."

Wilder, who has not yet made a commitment, finished with 113 yards on 13 carries (8.7 yards per carry) while the Panthers' six ball carriers totaled 277 yards on 37 rush attempts (7.5-yard average).

"And every one of those yards they ran behind Posada," said Davis, in his first season at Clearwater Catholic Central.

The 6-6, 315-pound Posada committed to the Maize and Blue on Wednesday over offers from Illinois, Missouri, South Florida, Tennessee and Louisville among others.

Two weeks after Plant ran through Countryside, it edged Manatee 21-14 to repeat as the 5A state champion. The Panthers rushed for 210 yards and two scores on 35 carries (6.0 yards per carry) in that victory.

"He was big, fast and physical," Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan said.

"He's surprisingly athletic for that size," Manatee offensive coach Chris Conboy said. "When you're that big and as skilled as he is at this level you're just going to dominate and you're biggest obstacle is really yourself because you have to decide how aggressive you'll be. Will you take a snap off? He never took a snap off."

Manatee gets Plant in a rematch, of sorts, in two weeks. The two teams will play a nationally-televised exhibition Aug. 27 on ESPN (7:30 p.m.)

"You're going to see a player that you can't wait to see up there [at Michigan]," Davis said. "We tried to get around him, through him, whatever it takes, and we didn't have any success. That kid has great potential and we may see him on Sundays."

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