JEANNETTE, Pa. -- Terrelle Pryor probably could have started from day one at Michigan. Penn
State promised it would change its offense. And Oregon? It already has a wide-open offense, but he
probably could have picked his own uniform scheme from the Ducks' deep walk-in closet.
Yet when it came time to choose a college yesterday, Pryor -- the top overall prospect in the
nation this year -- signed with Ohio State. The Jeannette High School quarterback did so even
though there was no promise of a starting job from coach Jim Tressel.
Senior Todd Boeckman returns, and he took the Buckeyes to the national championship game last
season. There are two other competitors, Antonio Henton and Joe Bauserman, already on the roster.
But there is a precedent for Pryor's situation, and it shows how he might fit in with the Buckeyes
Two years ago, the personnel was similarly stacked when freshman Tim Tebow signed with Florida.
As the season wore on, though, coach Urban Meyer used Tebow's running and throwing talents to
augment the play of senior Chris Leak, and the Gators went on to beat the Buckeyes for the national
title. Last season, Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Pryor said Tressel told him that he had a similar vision for him in his freshman season if he
earns playing time.
"He explained that as Todd Boeckman is in there, he said he is going to work me like Tebow, use
me on runs," Pryor said. "That sounded good to me."
Tressel said it's no surprise that Pryor was the top-ranked recruit. From the first time he
watched video of him, it was obvious "he had every tool you could ever dream of."
He is 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds with 4.35-second speed in the 40-yard dash. He has nifty feet, the
ability to break and avoid tackles, and a quick passing release, all of which he used to become the
first high school quarterback in Pennsylvania to run and pass for 4,000 yards. But he also aspired
to play college basketball.
"What I was most interested in was finding out what made him tick, what was most important to
him, was it basketball, was it football, all those kinds of things," Tressel said. "It has become
very apparent to me that his passion is to become a great, great quarterback."
As Pryor put it, "I think it's my ticket."
He said he chose Ohio State in part because of the continued strength of the program under
Tressel, which includes the depth of talent on the field. All he was promised was a shot to compete
as a freshman.
"I can guarantee (the fans) I will work hard. … I am going to try to win games for them when my
name, my number is called," said Pryor, who plans to enroll for summer quarter, which starts June
16. "And I will try to contribute as much as I can."
Between him and Boeckman on the depth chart are Henton, an athletic playmaker, and Bauserman,
more of a drop-back quarterback.
"The thing I know about those two guys is they love to compete," Tressel said. "And I'm sure
they know enough about the game of football to know there is more competition on the field now. I'm
sure they will have great respect for what Terrelle can bring to the table."
Pryor led the Jeannette High School football team to a state title in December and the boys
basketball team to a state title last weekend. Jeannette became just the third school in state
history to win both in the same school year.
Tressel expects to see the same fire when Pryor hits the practice field in August.
"I think that is his passion, to make it impossible for us not to put him in the football game,"
Tressel said. "That's what's exciting about a guy with goals. He didn't want you to promise him
"He didn't want to necessarily go where they said, 'Hey, you're the guy,' because he is very
sensitive to his teammates. And he wants to earn everything he gets with his teammates. … I love
guys that have that outlook.
"I think full well he has the ability once he gains command of the system and all that it takes
to be a quarterback. How quickly he can do that will determine how quickly he can make it
impossible for us
not to put him in the game."
Terrelle Pryor is 6 feet 6, 230 pounds with 4.35-second speed in the 40-yard dash. He has nifty
feet, the ability to break and avoid tackles, and a quick passing release, all of which he used to
become the first high school quarterback in Pennsylvania to run and pass for 4,000 yards in his