When the Posey brothers walked out of Ohio Stadium two years ago, they were new to college football.
They hoped their futures would be as bright as the sun that beamed across Columbus that day.
Julian, the Bobcats' cornerback, had six tackles and seemed to be around every play as a redshirt sophomore. DeVier just began his Buckeye career as a true freshman, after being a top wide-receiver recruit in the 2008 class.
"The first time, we didn't really even line up against each other," Julian said. "(DeVier) only played about ten plays, and didn't really start playing a lot until later in the year."
When they meet on the field for a second time Saturday, two opposite paths to success will cross again.
DeVier's rise has been clear and steady, but Julian's road was filled with twists and turns that began with an ankle injury only weeks after Ohio's 26-14 loss to the Buckeyes in 2008.
"That was a rough year for me," Julian said. "I felt like I was being challenged as a man and, as a spiritual guy, I thought God was challenging me."
Besides the injury, a breakup with his girlfriend and a robbery where the assailants stole his jewelry made the healing process worse.
Julian spent most of his time at home thinking about what happened.
And how to change his life.
"I thought I was invincible," Julian said. "I took it for granted, the whole college football thing. I guess I wasn't doing what I was supposed to and got full of myself, and that's not really who I am."
Meanwhile, after playing briefly during his freshman season in Columbus, DeVier began spring practice in 2009 with a chance to start in the upcoming year.
With his older brother's football career in jeopardy, DeVier offered Julian advice on dealing with hardships.
"I just asked that, if he actually couldn't return, how would he like to be remembered?" DeVier said. "I just tried to give him some perspective and humble him during the time away from the game."
That question stuck with Julian for weeks. At the time, he didn't know a second chance was coming.
Julian's ankle didn't heal by Ohio's 2009 opener. He couldn't perform at the highest level and struggled to pace himself during practice.
But late in the year against Northern Illinois, the player that awed coaches as a redshirt freshman returned. As a starter against Northern Illinois, Julian's 41-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed a Bobcat victory.
"I had a pick (against Kent State) earlier in the year, but I felt like that was a gift to let me know I was still playing," Posey said. "But that game, that's when I felt I was really back."
As Julian worked to improve, DeVier established himself as Ohio State's main target.
Learning the position from future NFL draft picks Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie, DeVier tried to master the team's offense.
Having been benched in high school because of poor preparation, DeVier made sure he was ready to take his spot.
"I told myself I'd have a job," he said. "I'd never allow myself to be unprepared again."
In 2009, DeVier broke out. He tallied 828 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
But that wasn't enough for him, as dropped passes plagued him.
The receiver forced himself to catch 1,500 balls a week to get ready for the 2010 season.
"I wanted to learn the system so bad that I forgot about the other things," DeVier said. "I got away from what actually makes a receiver, so I knew I had to drill myself on catching."
When the brothers match up against each other on Saturday, they both said it will be difficult not to laugh about the past two years.
But when the game starts, it all goes away.
"It'll definitely be weird at first," DeVier said. "But by the second quarter, he'll just be No. 9 for the Bobcats, not the Joonie Posey I know."
This article originally appeared in the Ohio University's student newspaper, The Post. To read the original article, click here: http://thepost.ohiou.edu/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=32274