Pryor's commitment remains to Ohio State
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor admits that disgraced former Buckeye Santonio Holmes remains "a brother of mine," but the Jeannette native is trying to take his career down a different path.
"What happened to Santonio is not my business, but I am a big fan of his," Pryor said. "Hopefully, he will get things together."
Holmes was traded by the Steelers to the New York Jets after three arrests in two years, an additional assault charge and a four-game suspension for substance abuse.
Pryor, who arrived at Ohio State two years after Holmes left, said he has taken an active leadership role to ensure that his Ohio State teammates stay out of trouble.
"When I go out, I am the first one to leave (for home), and I try to get guys to leave. I make sure guys don't drink and drive. There are older guys who will call me when they are drinking. I stay on guys about grades and get on guys about going out too much."
Pryor, 20, hopes to be named an Ohio State captain this season, but he said it's a distinction that must be earned on and off the field.
"You have to win over your teammates and lead by example," he said. "In the locker room, I try to comfort (players), talk to players you wouldn't normally talk to and treat walk-ons like they are just as important as anyone else. Treat them like you would want to be treated."
Pryor tries to avoid non-football distractions. The game builds enough hurdles.
He played the final four games last season with a posterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee after injuring it Oct. 31 against New Mexico State.
"I fell on it, and it popped," he said.
He finished the scoring drive in which the injury occurred but admitted he was worried. "I couldn't get any power."
Nonetheless, he didn't miss a game the remainder of the season and was named Rose Bowl MVP. In the 26-17 victory over Oregon, he threw for a career-high 266 yards, ran for 72 and set a school bowl record for total yards (338).
Still, the knee wasn't right, and he had arthroscopic surgery in February.
During spring drills, Pryor wore a knee brace without incident. In fact, coach Jim Tressel noted that Pryor looked more confident than he was a year ago.
"I think he is a little more relaxed, no less passionate," Tressel told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Pryor will eligible for early entry to the 2011 NFL Draft and believes he eventually can have a long career, but he said he hasn't given it much thought.
"Whatever everyone thinks is best for me, as a person," he said. "But that's down the road. I am focused on camp and the opener against Marshall."
Already known for his footspeed, Pryor threw for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns last season while leading Ohio State to a No. 5 ranking in two national polls.
"I am very much working on getting the ball to the receivers who can run better than me," he said.
In these final days of the spring academic term, he said he spends six to seven hours a day working out, watching film, meeting with coaches and trying to improve what he calls his "pocket presence."
"I am like a sponge. I have a lot to learn, but I will learn it. I pick up on things very easily. I am very smart."
Meanwhile, he said he has no plans to go home to Jeannette this summer.
"I can get in trouble going back home," he said. "I just want to stay up here and train."