Terrelle Pryor is being considered the wrecking ball that felled the Ohio State University football program, leading to the resignation of former coach Jim Tressel and the hellfire that the NCAA will soon rain upon the program.
He has the scars or tattoos to prove it
The former OSU quarterback received tattoos in exchange for signed memorabilia and made as much as $40,000 for his signature on other OSU items in 2010. He was also the recipient of other benefits and gifts including several loaner vehicles from a Columbus, Ohio car dealer.
On Tuesday, Pryor sat with newly acquired agent Drew Rosenhaus and apologized to the Ohio State community for his role in activities that violated NCAA rules and ultimately led to his withdrawal from the university. Pryor is being accused of giving the once-heralded Buckeye football program a black eye for his own selfish gain.
Forget the fact that former head coach Jim Tressel lied to the NCAA regarding his knowledge of players being involved in any potentially illegal activities in late 2010. It was Tressell who knew of illegal activities among some two dozen players dating back to 2002. He was praised for the way he handled former running back Maurice Clarett when he knew of Clarett’s activities at OSU from the beginning.
It was Clarett who stood alone when he was dismissed from the university in 2003 and into a world of violence that included a failed stint in the NFL and prison time. Pryor left OSU on his own terms, and for as much self-inflicted damage that these young men brought upon themselves and their teammates, Tressel, who was put in the position to further mold them is equally responsible.
In acquiring Rosenhaus, Pryor has made the decision to enter the NFL’s Supplemental Draft — made available to players who have encountered eligibility issues since the end of the college football season or the NFL Draft in April. The Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders held the rights to Pryor, but he has since declined to join the CFL.
The question now is which team will take a chance on Pryor who has left school after his junior season and could have really used another season at the quarterback position. Pryor who stands at 6’6” 235 lbs. was a all-state football and basketball player at Jeannette Senior High School in Western Pennsylvania. There has been some speculation that Pryor, who some have projected as a fourth or fifth round selection of this draft may undergo a position change to a wide receiver or tight end. One team that this scenario may interest is the Baltimore Ravens, Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin was high school’s Mr. Football in Florida in 1998. Boldin converted to wide receiver while at FSU but had some spot duty at quarterback.People will no doubt begin to compare Pryor to the Carolina Panthers Cam Newton, who was selected first overall in April’s draft. And while they’re both equally superior athletes, Newton holds the edge over Pryor as a passer. Newton has a big play arm will keep him around in the NFL, something Pryor has yet to develop. If Pryor struggles he will need to become an accurate passer in order to get a serious shot in getting under center in the NFL.
The dilemma for Pryor (and Rosenhaus) is that seven quarterbacks were taken in the first three rounds of the draft and while there are teams that could use a starting quarterback, Pryor is not being projected as someone who can come in and start. So at this point it’s up to Rosenhaus to sell Pryor as best he can to get the best offer out there for him. I came up with a handful of teams that could help Pryor along in his development which is really what he needs now.
1. Philadelphia Eagles – Andy Reid loves quarterbacks and challenges – the man responsible for the emergence of Michael Vick as a pocket passer would take on Pryor and place him in a non pressure situation where he could hone his skills and come along at a decent pace.
2. Oakland Raiders – New coach Hue Jackson is a former quarterbacks coach and would like to add depth given the brittleness of Jason Campbell. Things would move fast for Pryor in Oak-Town where he would probably be in competition for a backup job.
3. Miami Dolphins – The ‘Phins are happy with Chad Henne but wouldn’t mind grooming his potential replacement and with Chad Pennington as a backup, Pryor again be in a no pressure situation.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are solid at QB when it comes to Ben Roethlisberger but they have also had success with backup quarterbacks. Dennis Dixon is in the last year of his contract and is the most comparable player to Pryor in terms of skill and development. I think the no-nonsense/family approach of Mike Tomlin and the organization as a whole would be ideal for Pryor.
5. Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones wasn’t able to get Newton so what would stop him at taking a shot at Pryor. In joining the Cowboys, Pryor would get more financial stability than if he signed with just about any other team and working under Jason Garrett could prove to be beneficial.
At this point nothing is etched in stone for Pryor — all we can hope for is that he’s learned from his mistakes and can move forward with his life and hopefully a successful NFL career.