What to do with Terrelle Pryor?
Written by Curt Popejoy on 06/17/2011
What does the future hold for the troubled and talented former Ohio State Quarterback? Rumors and speculation abound and so I am going to dip my foot in the speculation pool as well.
I seriously considered leaving this article blank as a sort of cryptic indicator of what I see as former Ohio State Quarterback Terrelle Pryor's future. But while I felt like it would be appropriate I thought it might be more sarcastic than even I was accustomed to.
I think before we look to Pryor's future, we must look at his past and in an abridged fashion see what got us here.
When Pryor arrived at Ohio State, he did so under a tremendous amount of fanfare. You didn't have to be a huge college football fan to have followed his courting by Ohio State and Michigan and how at the 23rd hour he went with the Buckeyes. This was to the chagrin of Wolverine fans and the delight of Buckeye nation. On the surface I always felt like Michigan was the better fit. The offensive system RichRod was implementing was tailor made for Pryor's strengths, RichRod, while a greaseball was known for fostering talent and success in players like Pryor, so it seemed to be an easy choice. But in the end it was Ohio State who "won" the lottery so to speak.
At that time I came out on my blog and proclaimed that this was a mistake not only for Pryor but for Ohio State as well. Buckeye fans proceeded to put me on blast almost immediately and when I said that Pryor would never win a Heisman Trophy and OSU would never win a national championship with him on the team, they did everything but leave bags of flaming dog crap on my door step. They hype surrounding Pryor could never match his production and I honestly felt bad for Buckeye fans who were brought in hook, line and sinker that Pryor was going to be their Savior.
Fast forward to a few months back and we are at a point where Pryor was passing on a chance to declare for the 2011 NFL draft and even in the turbulence of scandals and investigations at Ohio State he was going to come back and think he would just come out of this untouched and be able to continue to do what he's been doing. Not too bright. This, sort of entitled thinking is why he's in the situation he's in. More than likely Pryor has has free reign to do as he wishes with no negative consequences up until this point, so even in the face of all these problems, his ego continued to drive him forward.
And so here we are. Coach Jim Tressel has been forced to resign, NCAA sanctions are coming down the pike in a big way, and Pryor is done at Ohio State. Was he really so naive that he didn't realize that shit storm that was coming? Of course not. And because of his arrogance he's got some choices to make. And please understand I am speculating on all this without benefit of reading anything on the matter.
First he can transfer to a lower level school. We see if fairly often. Guys get in hot water whether it's grades or otherwise and find their way to a Championship subdivision program and are able to stay in the national spotlight, get reps, mature their game and for lack of a better word mend fences.
Second, he can enter the NFL supplemental draft. This is assuming the whole labor fiasco allows for one. There have been some nice quarterbacks found in the supplemental draft, it's a relatively low risk proposition for teams as Pryor is probably no better than a third or fourth round pick and you know whichever team selects him is doing so with the understanding that he is a project. But low risk/high reward is always enticing.
Third, you have the UFL. The main benefits of this is Pryor would get NFL caliber coaching and NFL caliber competition and would probably be able to get reps right away. Once again, since the 2011 UFL draft is already in the books, I would guess that teams are free to sign Pryor as a free agent, so he would have some say on where he goes which could be huge for his coaching.
Finally you have the CFL. I was trying to think of some positive spin to put on this, because my understanding is it's a consideration, but I see zero upside in Pryor going up and playing football in Canada. Field is different, rules are different, not a lot of talent and you can end up getting lost up in the great white North.
So what should Pryor do? If it were me, the first thing I would do is investigate if I could transfer to a top flight DI-AA FBS program. You are assured on football come September and if you pick a team that needs a quarterback probably outside the top 10, you could come in and start right away. And without a doubt the NCAA would track you like Bin Laden all year long.
My second choice would to be if I could get signed to the UFL. It's the closest thing to the NFL Pryor is going to get and you can be sure NFL teams watch these UFL teams very closely for talent. The coaching and competition would be very high and would really push Pryor.
Third I would consider the NFL supplemental draft if it can happen. My only concern with the supplemental draft is that for a guy with his ego, who much will it effect him to end up being the guy a team only gives up a fourth or fifth round pick for? And if the labor dispute when will he play meaningful football again?
Finally and I hate to even list it is the CFL. There's no long-term upside for Pryor in Canada. Unless he just wants to escape all the scrutiny and he knows that going up there means no one in the states will ever pay attention to him again.
Don't misunderstand me. I wish no ill will on Pryor. I hope he's very successful in whatever endeavor he pursues. But I am saying I saw this coming when he was still in high school. The writing was on the wall and he's lived up to everything I thought. Was he a bad college player? Not at all. In fact he was a very good NFL quarterback. He never lost to Michigan which is huge. He won something like 88% of his games and a couple of BCS Bowls. But when you come into college with the expectations of national championships and Heisman trophies anything less is coming up short. The kicker for me is as I look at the history of Ohio State football, other than Archie Griffin is there a better player in the history of the program? Kinda scary when you consider how crazy his tenure has been and how he's leaving, but at least he bumped Maurice Clarett down a notch.
But I think it's important, at least in reference to the NFL, Pryor is essentailly a non-factor. Great College Quarterback, but NFL ceiling is very limited. This whole story would matter so much more to the NFL if this were an elite first round prospect. But sorry Buckeye fans, Pryor is not that. Now in terms of the NCAA, this whole Ohio State grease fire is very telling about where the landscape of big time college football is, but that is a rant for another day.
Last Edited: 06/17/2011