Pryor impresses at Ohio State
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some things never change with Terrelle Pryor.
During Ohio State media day Thursday at Ohio Stadium, Pryor joked with his new teammates, signed autographs, had his picture taken with several people and was mobbed by media.
The scene was similar to what happened in Jeannette where he led the Jayhawks to WPIAL and PIAA titles in football and basketball last season. He's quickly becoming a fan favorite in Columbus.
"He loves the attention," said freshman linebacker Andrew Sweat of Trinity High School. "I've know him since seventh grade playing AAU basketball. But Terrelle also wants to be the best."
Since arriving on campus in mid-June to attend summer classes (history and music), Pryor has impressed his teammates and Ohio State with his physical presence and willingness to learn.
Also, since Pryor signed his official letter-of-intent to play football, two Ohio State quarterbacks who played last season behind starter Todd Boeckman transferred.
Antonio Henton left in June for Georgia Southern, and Rob Schoenhoft took off for Delaware.
That leaves Pryor to compete against former Pirates minor-league player Joe Bauserman for the backup position behind Boeckman.
Pryor said he's not making any predictions about his playing time.
"I'm having fun, and I'm going to still joke around with everyone," Pryor said. "But, at the same time, I want to learn and become a better player."
Pryor is rooming with Boeckman during camp. He said they talk about a lot of things.
Boeckman said he's trying to help Pryor become a better player.
"If he can help us out any way he can, I'm all for it," Boeckman said. "The upperclassmen have to help the underclassmen out. I hope Terrelle pushes me to become a better player."
Boeckman said he was impressed with Pryor the first time he met him during his official visit.
"He came here and started asking questions," Boeckman said. "He did so many good things in high school, but he wants to learn and wants to get better."
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he's impressed with the entire freshman class, which includes Pryor, Sweat and numerous other five-star recruits.
"They're a humble bunch at practice," Tressel said. "Their eyes and ears are opened, their mouths are not moving at all and their tempo on the field and in the weightroom is good. Knock on wood, I've been really impressed."
Asked what he expects from Pryor, Tressel said he won't rush him before he's ready.
"Terrelle is in a good situation because he's getting a lot of reps in practice," Tressel said. "The only way you learn is to get reps. The fact we have a veteran, we're not pushing him into the thing and putting him in there before he's ready to conceptually grasp every little thing.
"The common thought is that Terrelle can do such extraordinary things at times, you might use him doing those things in the right situation. Exactly how that will shake out, well, we still have 24 more practices to work those things out."
Quarterbacks coach and Bethel Park native Joe Daniels says Pryor is learning and making mistakes.
"He's a little hesitant because he's learning. That's expected," Daniels said. "I'm very happy with him.
"The most encouraging things about him are his attitude and approach to everything we do. It's been great."
Pryor says he likes to hang around the older players because he wants to learn from them and listen to what they have to say.
Daniels says he isn't sure how much playing time Pryor will get in the first two games of the season against Youngstown State on Aug. 30 and Ohio on Sept. 6.
Ohio State's spread offense may give Pryor a chance to get on the field early.
"As you go through camp, the closer you come to the end, we'll have to formulate some type of plan," Daniels said. "What are we exactly going to do with changes or packages• I know the players are excited about some of the things we've done with the spread offense."
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