Jeannette's Pryor picks Ohio State

| Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Terrelle Pryor had a sleepless night. He couldn't eat this morning, and he came to school late.

After calling a noon press conference today at the school's auditorium, the Jeannette star football and basketball player began questioning his decision Tuesday night -- would he select Ohio State and learn from senior Todd Boeckman, or would he pick Michigan and compete for a starting job. Penn State and Oregon were his other finalists.

But after one final talk with his parents, he settled on a school.

After being introduced, Pryor smiled and said, "This is what everyone's here for." Pryor reached into his dad's (Craig) jacket and pulled out an Ohio State University hat and out it on. Under his U.S. Army All-American jacket he wore an Ohio State t-shirt.

"It's an exciting day for the Buckeyes and we're so proud of Terrelle now that he's joined our football family," Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel said. "His mom (Toni) and dad are excited about his decision and we couldn't be happier."

But the dual-threat quarterback, who led Jeannette to a 16-0 record and PIAA and WPIAL football championships, didn't make his final choice until about 11 a.m.

His final choice was a hard one. He liked Michigan's spread offense and the chance to start as a freshman. But he also had the comfort zone with Tressel and the Ohio State players.

"I could have gone wrong either way," Pryor said. "I could've went to Michigan and possibly started. I could've gone to Penn State and Oregon and maybe fought for a starting job.

'At Ohio State, they still have Todd Boeckman there and I can learn from a senior. Ohio State was my leader at first. I got involved with a lot of kids there and I feel comfortable with Coach Tressel."

Pryor rushed for 4,238 rushing yards and passed for 4,340 yards in his career and was the first player in the state to do both. He gained 1,899 rushing and 1,889 passing yards, accounting for 58 touchdowns his senior season.

He was also the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review player of the year as a junior and senior. He also led Jeannette to the school's first PIAA and WPIAL basketball titles and he finished with 2,285 career points.

Pryor was also recognized as the high school player of the year by USA Today, Parade, EA Sports, Scout, Rivals, PrepStar, Superprep and PrepNation; and was the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in December.

"Ohio State is what I wanted," Pryor said. "The toughest thing was saying no to the other coaches because I formed a bond with them.

"My parents allowed me to make the decision and backed me no matter what school I chose."

Pryor was set to sign a letter of intent on National Signing Day on Feb. 6, but decided to hold off so he could learn more about the schools. His father encouraged him to wait.

"I just wanted him to be sure," Craig Pryor said. "I didn't care where he went because I told him I'd be there."

Terrelle Pryor eliminated Oregon because of the distance and Penn State because of the location.

Pryor did have high praise for Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and coach Joe Paterno.

"Terrelle had a great respect for the staffs at Michigan, Penn State, Oregon and former Tennessee coach Dave Cutcliffe," Tressel said. "We always felt pretty good about him because he forged a bond with some of the recruits."

Additional Information:

AP video

Click here to see video about Terrelle Pryor's college choice.

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