Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Jun 2011

Terrelle Pryor to Skip Senior Season at Ohio State

Terrelle Pryor has announced that he will skip his senior season at Ohio State "in the best interest" of his teammates. He will evidently aim to enter the NFL supplemental draft, but if one does not exist, he will consider the CFL. It sure has been a fun offseason, hasn't it?

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 07 Jun 2011

51 comments, Last at 11 Jun 2011, 11:02am by zlionsfan


by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 06/07/2011 - 7:11pm

Too sissy to take beatings like amn at Ohio State. Hopefully goes to crap NFL or CFl or UFL team like Broncos, stamopeders, argonuts, alouettes, redwoods, Cardinals, Roughriders

by SydneyHogan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 10:18am

The CFL can be a very good preparatory league for QBs like Pryor. 3 downs, lots of play-actions and QB scrambles. Almost every CFL teams are turning to QBs like Pryor, big strong athletic guy with a big are, with the exception of the Montreal Alouettes' Anthony Calvillo. He'll surely become the all-time CFL leader for passing yardage this season so there's no chance you'll see Pryor with the Als! I'm a french canadian from Quebec city and FO is some really great stuff!

by battlered90 (not verified) :: Tue, 06/07/2011 - 7:55pm

My take is Pryor would need major work to become a decent NFL QB anyway. With the character red flags from this debacle, he would slide way down the draft boards. No big loss for anyone.

by drobviousso :: Tue, 06/07/2011 - 8:04pm

With Chilly out of the league, I just can't see him getting drafted. What's his ceiling? Matt Jones? TJac?

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 06/07/2011 - 8:08pm

T. pryor ceiling= V. yougn
T. pRyor tabletop- A. McPherson (verya theltic qb drafted by N.O. Saimts, did nothing
T. Pryor floor= Damon Allen, cfl star, NFL nobody

by zlionsfan :: Sat, 06/11/2011 - 10:51am

I think you're optimistic on both his ceiling and floor ... the tabletop sounds about right.

I think his floor is Ryan Leaf: a guy who obviously has talent but doesn't care to do what's necessary to use it properly. (Actually, at this point, that may be unfair to Leaf. From what I understand, he was a jackass at Washington State, and obviously he was a spectacular failure in the NFL, but I don't think he had anywhere near the NCAA violations that Pryor may end up with.)

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 06/07/2011 - 8:05pm

think should gete xperience in cFL first. Not good enoguh to do anything in NFL unless content to hold clipboard for four or fiev years

by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:11am

Are you saying he's Brian St.Pierre material?!
No one can suit up and hold a clipboard like he does.

by Will :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:04am

Pryor is incredibly fast as a straight line runner, so he has that going for him. He was and under rated passer in college, but no where near great. I just don't see him being an NFL quarterback. He's not an accurate passer and his decision making ability ranged from godawful (the Purdue loss in 2009) to merely decent.

As a sprinting quarterback though, he was a wonderful sight to behold. His speed combined with his effortless stride made opponents look to be in slow motion.


by Solomon :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 6:20am

Terrelle, you are a disgrace to Ohio State University and Buckeye Nation. Good riddance.

by SammyGlick :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:35pm

exactly what did he do that countless others haven't done before him?

by tuluse :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:40pm

Well he broke the most important rule, he got caught.

by Solomon :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:13am

Since the article is about Pryor, I directed my comments towards him. I am not sure about "countless others" breaking rules.

Pryor is selfish, arrogant, and tends to say stupid things (the Vick comments come to mind). His (and others') involvement with the tattoo parlor brought embarrassment to the school. Several additional allegations exist against him, such as the dealer cars and selling memorablilia. These are as yet unproven.

I would respect him more if he stayed for his senior season and tried to lead the team out of this mess as much as possible. Instead, he bailed. I get the sense that he does not regret any of his actions in this scandal.

That said, if Jim Tressel took care of his end of the situation, the school would be much better off.

As an OSU alumnus and fan, I can accept losing a few games. What I despise are having the teams commit major NCAA violations and vacate wins. It sucks that after a good season, you wonder if the results will be vacated down the road.

BTW, Maurice Clarrett had his problems, but the McDonald's incident did not involve him.

Those roll-over Norelco ads are quite annoying.

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:24pm

Are you really shocked that the starting QB of the Ohio State Buckeyes is arrogant and selfish? If only he was as modest and giving as Art Schlister or Mike Tomczak. Even the great Peyton Manning was sued by a trainer at Tennessee for his boorish behavior. I believe at this time all of the car stuff has been cleared up, so the only allegations hanging over Pryor are that he traded personal property (gifts/trophys from the University) for tattoos and he sold his signature on memorabilia. Both of these are violations of NCAA rules, but neither is against the law (So long as he pays his taxes). Why would he stay for his senior year? He would have to sit out 5 games (probably the whole year, now). He is being singled out as the sole perpetrator of these 'crimes' and being blamed for Tressel's forced resignation by his teammates and fans. But he should stay so he doesn't embarrass the school and lose respect? Would you stay at a job that did not pay you very much, where your co-workers did not like you and the boss was watching your every move, waiting for you to slip up so he can punish you some more, knowing that you have an opportunity to do that same job elsewhere and get paid a lot more, with much better benefits and not have to deal with all that craziness?

by Solomon :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 10:50pm

I am not blaming Pryor for Tressel's exodus, and Pryor was not the only one to commit violations. Tressel made his own bed. As far as a job that does "not pay you very much", Pryor is on scholarship and receives free room and board, tuition, and books. That is worth a lot (more for Pryor since he is not from Ohio). In addition, he avoids any debt from student loans.

If I were in his shoes, I would return. I would feel responsible for the problems my actions caused the university and my teammates and would want to improve the situation as much as possible. Instead, Pryor issues some blase statement from his lawyer and walks away.

Many (not all) Buckeye fans see the situation for what it is. Pryor had a big hand in this mess, but Tressel and some other players screwed up as well.

Espn.com actually ran a positive article about OSU's Jared Sullinger, who provides a better example of how a star athlete could comport himself.

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 1:14pm

Ok, so how much is a scholarship really worth? Room and board? The Ohio State University football team team generated nearly $40 million in PROFIT last year. Nearly $52 million in revenue. (http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/05/31/ohio-states-football-budge...) And everyone is ready to crucify this kid because he may have made $40,000 off selling his autograph on some jerseys and posters? And the absurd thing is, he probably never wanted to go to college to begin with. He wants to play professional football. Because the NFL and the NCAA collude to prevent players from entering the league for two years he is forced to play for free for a university. It is no coincidence that the two highest revenue generating college sports happen to be the ones where the top talent is prevented from entering the professional ranks out of high school. If the NFL ever adopted a minor league system for player development similar to those in baseball and hockey, college football would become just as irrelevant as those sports. Everyone seems to be making a lot of money off Terrell Pryor except Terrell Pryor, and because he has said that he no longer wants to play for free, he is a bad person. He doesn't owe Ohio State anything. Let alone another year or two of indentured servitude to placate a fanbase that feels like they have been cheated out of a chance to feel like they are winners because their favorite team won.

by tuluse :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 1:23pm

It is no coincidence that the two highest revenue generating college sports happen to be the ones where the top talent is prevented from entering the professional ranks out of high school.

The NBA's rule is very recent and college basketball was making plenty of money before they implemented it. Plus, basketball players do have the option of playing in Europe for money if they desire.

by Will :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 8:24pm

Major League Baseball also requires you be in college for three years or be 21 years old before being eligible for the draft, once you enroll. The exception here is that it only applies to four year schools, which is why you'll see a lot more top baseball talent go to JuCo (e.g. Bryce Harper).


by justanothersteve :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 8:06am

Predicting he'll be a bust is no stretch as about half of all early round QBs picked are busts. I still wouldn't be surprised if he goes in the second round of a supplemental draft. With no offseason workouts, he'll go into camp (whenever that happens) at the same level as every other rookie. Yes, he needs work but so does every rookie QB. With the right coach and attitude, he could be Steve Young. He could also end up another Andre Woodson.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 8:48am

He's a pretty accurate passer (61% isn't he?) who's played quite a lot of games, and it athletic. I dunno how accurate he actually is (is it 61% of easy passes?), but I think if he'd come out this year he could have been a 1st or 2nd round pick. Dunno how the supplemental draft will affect him, but he's got enough upside that someone will probably take him in the first 3 or 4 rounds IMO.

by Southern Philly :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:42am

If he was going to be a 1st or 2nd round pick, he would have come out. He's a 5th round pick.

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:58pm

Really? Statistically he is superior to both Jake Locker and Christian Ponder, and they were picked in the first round.

by Southern Philly :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 12:45am

You know, stats aren't everything. Pryor is not an NFL QB prospect. Poor accuracy, poor decision making and so many off the field issues.

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 12:42pm

I know stats are not everything, but they must count for something, or else websites like this would be irrelevant. I find it hard to believe that a player of Pryor's talent does not have a place in the NFL. I question people who make statements about his future potential without any evidence to back it up. You say he is not an NFL QB because he was not accurate and made poor decisions. I would counter and say that he completed 61% of his passes and threw more than twice as many TDs as interceptions. He showed steady progression as both from his freshman to junior season and only lost 4 games in three years as a starter for a top tier college team. Does all of that guarantee he will be a success in the NFL, of course not, but to dismiss his chances out of hand is ridiculous. And if the off the field stuff is such a problem, then explain to me how Cam Newton was drafted first overall.He has had just as many 'issues' off the field as Pryor.

by Southern Philly :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 12:45am

Cam Newton also won every game he played at Auburn, he was a truly special player (at the college level). Pryor isn't.

I'll ask again, if Pryor was a 1st round pick, then why didn't he come out already? As noted below, Greg Cosell doesn't think highly of him:

"Mechanically he's way below the curve. He pushes the ball. He's got a very stiff delivery, and he doesn't drive the ball at all. He's got a very bad tendency to lift his back foot off the ground before he throws the ball, and that prevents him from throwing the ball with any arm strength. You can't drive the ball doing that, because you don't have a good base.

"And I don't think his accuracy in the two games I've watched was very good. I thought he was scattershot. I don't think he's a naturally accurate passer. Just watching him the little bit I have, he's just an athlete who played quarterback because he was the best guy on his team from the time he was 3 years old. But he's got a lot to learn about throwing the football."

And he's not the only one:

"He needs a ton of work," said one long-time club personnel executive who has watched Pryor's play. "It's a long-term deal with him at quarterback. He's a great athlete, very mobile, with big size. He's just not a great passer. He totally needs to refine what he's doing. He's a project, and in the end I'm not convinced he's a quarterback in the NFL. I think he'll end up at another position."

"He is what he is. He's really a running quarterback trying to learn how to pass. You hope he goes to a team with good coaching, a team that really wants him and will be patient with him. They'll probably put him on the practice squad for a year or so."

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 12:46pm

OK, but none of those opinions say, 'Don't draft this kid.' No is claiming that he is a polished product, capable of starting in the league this year. But 'needs development' is a far cry from 'total bust.' You gave the opinion that he was inaccurate and made poor decisions, what are you basing that opinion on? I have watched almost every game Pryor has played at Ohio State and I can tell you for a fact that he has gotten better every year. Do his passes float? Yep. Did he have a tendency to look to run rather than make his progressions? Sometimes, but last year you could tell he was making an effort to stay in the pocket and make the right read and throw. I understand that guys like Greg Cosell make a living off giving opinions on young players and their draft stock. He also called Andy Dalton a 4th round pick at best. Does that mean the Bengals made a terrible error picking him in the second round? What team did Greg Cosell build through the draft? All I can find in his bio online is that he has worked for NFL FIlms and is the producer of the Matchup TV show. And he is basing his opinion on film from 2 games. Which 2? The BCS bowl games where Pryor was named MVP? Or the Purdue Game two years ago, where he had his worst game as a Buckeye?

by Dean :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 2:06pm

Any more Kool-Aid left?

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 3:18pm

It's not Kool-Aid. I have never said Pryor is a great QB, or that he would have been drafted in any particular round. I have said that statistically he is comparable to other QBs drafted in the first two rounds last April, so why wouldn't he have been picked in the same range? It is said he was inaccurate and that he made bad decisions. I pointed out that he completed 61% of his passes and that he won 34 games, losing just 4 over three years, including 2 BCS Bowl games which he was named MVP. And he has thrown more than twice as many TDs as interceptions. If he was inaccurate and made bad decisions, how do you explain those numbers? The system? Supporting cast? Three Ohio State receivers have made themselves available in the NFL Draft since Pryor took over as the starter: Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline & Dane Sanzenbacher. Which one of those guys screams All-Pro? Devier Posey? Boom Herron? Brandon Saine? Ohio State has not had one offensive player taken in the NFL Draft in the last 2 years. It is widely known that their offensive line is mediocre at best.
It seems that Pryor's biggest 'crimes' are being black, unlikeable, and having a direct involvement in the undoing of a revered, Father Flannagan-like coach. I am sure if he prostrated himself a little more before the Buckeye faithful and begged forgiveness they would let him give up two more years of his life to play for free and make it up to them. He has the right to leave school and try to make a living as a professional athlete, and his success should be determined by the how far his talents and hard work carry him. If he fails, that is on him. But he deserves the chance.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 9:43am

I am SHOCKED! Shocked, I tell you, shocked, that he would give his word that he would play in a bowl game, and then take a suspension the next season - then skip that next season!

How much of a pay cut will he have to take by going pro?

by zlionsfan :: Sat, 06/11/2011 - 10:52am

Well, for one thing, he might have to find a new car connection.

by big_jgke :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:55am

Pryor would be an incredible CFL QB. Going there would do him some real good, maybe school him the way it did Garcia and Moon.

by slypumpkin :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:09am

Is there any reason to suspect Pryor will be anything more than the Maurice Clarett of QB?

You can point out my spelling errors, but I'm still going to point out the truth.

by tuluse :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:19am

Well he never shot up a McDonald's, so he has that going for him.

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:27pm

Didn't Marcus Vick shoot up the McDonalds? Clarett was caught driving erratically with a automatic rifle and a bottle of Grey Goose, supposedly on his way to intimidate/kill someone to pay off a debt he owed.

by tuluse :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:33pm

You could be right. I just remembered it something to do with guns.

by Dean :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:19pm

Don't forget the part about wearing body armor and carrying an axe as well as the guns. It adds a nice touch of absurdity to the story.

by apk3000 :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:37pm

The big kicker was the part that the debt was owed to the Israeli mafia, IIRC.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 8:59pm

Marcus Vick allegedly pointed a gun at people in the parking lot at McDonald's. He claimed it was a cell phone, though Michael recently said it actually was a gun.

by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:26am

To be serious, I'll be advocate of the devil so to speak.
The guy is 6'6. He is fast and not half bad at playing QB. So someone gave a young guy money... Then said young guy will go play in the UFL or CFL, hoping to get drafted in the supplemental NFL draft. With the offseason as we have it, no one knows when.
How this guy will not end up in the NFL is a mystery to me. One coach must have an ego big enough to think he can make something of this guy.
We've had Alex Smith, David Carr and some others have NFL careers.

And did you ever resize your comment box? No you didn't.

by dsouten :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:43pm

Greg Cosell has been tweeting (@gregcosell) as he studies Pryor film. Granted he's only looked at two games so far, but quotes like "showed no attributes that transition to NFL" seem pretty damning.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:34pm

Nice to see that Pryor has been run out of town. Tressel, Pryor... yep, that's everyone responsible for this whole mess. Nothing else to see here, NCAA investigators!

(Not saying he's blameless, just that it's laughable that he's being scapegoated for a system-wide failure.)

by Mikey Benny :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:13pm

Does this scream "Maurice Clarett" to anyone else?

by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:18pm

Clarett sued the NFL for declaring early.
Pryor is skipping his senior year, like many players.
Clarrett is/was a criminal. I don't know the friends of Pryor, but I don't know legal issues for Pryor other than violating NCAA rules.
Sure he doesn't have a clean sheet, but is it Maurice Clarett bad?

by herm :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:43pm

Yeah, the Maurice Clarett comments don't really make much sense. He's from Ohio State and he's done things that are undoubtedly in violation of NCAA rules... not particularly uncommon.

by zlionsfan :: Sat, 06/11/2011 - 11:02am

The only legal issue I've seen (so far) is related to driving without insurance.

He ran a stop sign in February, and it turned out he didn't have proof of insurance at the time of the incident, so his license was suspended until he provided it. He did that on the 2nd, which as some places have noted was after the latest how-can-he-afford-that-car? sighting.

Even with all that, while driving on a suspended license isn't a good thing, it can also be the sort of thing that is purely an administrative issue. Maybe Pryor thought it had been provided and it hadn't, whatever.

And even if that were entirely intentional (driving without insurance and/or with a suspended license, that is), IMHO it's not nearly as bad as armed robbery.

(Note: strictly a discussion of existing legal issues. I'm not trying to defend Pryor or his actions, just listing them.)

by Daniel2772 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:42pm

What if he switches positions? Why couldn't he make a living as a pass catcher? Or as a safety/linebacker? I think he has more potential than Matt Jones, and I think he may be a better passer than Kordell Stewart or Randel El. I wouldn't be surprised if Chan Gailey in Buffalo takes a chance on him or Mike Mularkey in Atlanta. They seemed to get Kordell Stewart to play at a respectable level for while at least in Pittsburgh. The question is, how much of a risk is there versus the reward. As a supplemental draft pick, i don't think it is a stretch to think that some team will take a chance on him and try to develop him into a tradeable asset.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:03pm

Is "more potential than Matt Jones" supposed to be an insult?

by big_jgke :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:00pm

Other than his relative excess of melanin, what is the difference between Pryor and Locker?

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:00pm

Pryor - Finished 2nd for Big 10 MVP. Led OSU to share of Big 10 championship 2008, 2009, and 2010. Rose Bowl MVP after 2009 season. Has run a 4.33 40 yards dash. Completed 65% of passes with 8.58 Y/A, 27 TD, 11 INT in 2010. Overall 60.9%, 7.9, 57, 26.
Locker - Pac 10 Freshman of the Year. Led UW to 7-6 record last year, his best as a starter. Ran 4.59 40 at combine. Best season - 2009 - stats were 58.2, 7.1, 21, 11. Regressed last year. Overall 53.9, 6.7, 53, 35.

Pryor also is a better runner. Even taking out the individual awards, Pryor looks better on paper. Don't know about the film. Pryor may be Gino Toretta II for all I know. Locker was picked #8 in this year's draft.

by Kal :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 2:14am

other notable differences the NFL cares about:

Locker was a community hero and supported heavily and vocally by every player and coach he ever had. Pryor openly got into fights with his coach and was a letdown to his fanbase.
Locker came back for his senior season to win a bowl game for a fairly crap team. Pryor left his senior year after scandal rocked him.
Locker was never implicated in any NCAA violation, nor was there even a hint that anything was wrong. Pryor has been implicated multiple times in multiple years.

And finally:
Pryor has had some of his best games in big wins. Locker has had some of his worst games in big wins.

by TomKelso :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:03pm

Now starting for YOUR Virginia Destroyers...

Welcome to the Roads, Terrell -- you'll like Virginia Beach in the off-season.