A Young Man Against the World, Terrelle Pryor

By Will Burge

Terrelle Pryor stood on a platform in the middle of the Super Dome in a moment that was all his, and decided to use that stage to apologize for a third time to Buckeye Nation.

He did not have to. In fact, I don’t think many would have blamed him if he made no mention of the incident at all.

Coming into the Sugar Bowl Pryor may have been the most vilified player in college football.

Fans from around the country have always hated him for the way he elongated the decision to play for Ohio State. Some Buckeye fans have labeled him overrated or a bust and had already started the countdown to the Braxton Miller era. The rest were embarrassed, disappointed, and disgusted with the way he sold possessions the average OSU fan would have given anything to possess.

The incident, selling Ohio State awards and other ceremonial items for cash, will never be forgiven by most fans. The incident, which happened two years ago following Pryor’s freshman season, may forever be the memory by which Ohio State alumni judge him.

The incident was a childish decision made by someone who was barely more than a child.

Terrelle Pryor was 19 years old when the incident happened. I wish I could take back any number of things that I did at the age of 19.

Buckeye fans continue to bash and batter a young man who may not be a born leader or public speaker but was blessed with a very different ability:  winning.

It is not always pretty, but the end result is almost always the same…victory.  In the last two BCS bowls Pryor has completed 58% of his passes for 487 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, and rushed for 237 yards. The most important stat, however, is that the Buckeyes are 2-0 in those games.

Fans blame him for regular season losses, like the one this season at Wisconsin, I would argue that Pryor is the 11th or 12th player who should be blamed for that loss. As far as I saw, he never played on the offensive or defensive lines, where that game was decided.

People will always find a negative light to shine on Pryor. You can pick apart what he says and bend the words that come out of his mouth but you cannot twist victories.

Pryor said he came to Ohio State to help get them “over the hump”. Ohio State had lost three straight BCS bowls before Pryor took over the starting role full time. They have now won two in a row including a victory over an SEC team.

They had developed a reputation for losing to ranked teams from power conferences outside the Big Ten. Pryor has led the Buckeyes to victories over Oregon, Miami (Fl), and Arkansas all who were ranked at the time.

I think that Pryor really does care about Ohio State and wants to be a leader. The problem is that he has not figured out how and maybe he never will.

Pryor showed personal growth by taking his own two moments, an interview immediately following the game and his MVP award ceremony, to once again apologize to Buckeye Nation. Make no mistake either, those are his moments.

The first touchdown of the Sugar Bowl may have been the perfect metaphor for Terrelle Pryor’s career. His raw athletic ability allowed him to make a play out of nothing, a mental lapse caused him to lose the football, but in the end it all worked out.

It wasn’t pretty, but it all worked out.

In 20 years when fans look back at Pryor and his time with Ohio State they should not remember him as a bust, as a poor leader, or as the kid who sold the gold pants. They should remember him for who he truly was; a winner on the football field.



  1. Should Pryor stay or go, he promised to stay, but at the same time the bright lights of the NFL are pretty glaring. Pryor made a promise, personally this is one promise i would’ve crossed my fingers on. As I try to put myself in TP2’s cleats , I ask myself this question, If i miss 5 games next season, will my draft status be any different from what it is at this present moment. Should I go pro so i can sell my things that I earned with out any criticism. So i don’t have to worry about fans who say I’m “selfish” and “impatient” because I made decisions to do what i wished with thing I earned. As far as I’m concerned Pryor or any of the other 4 players owe fans or any one else an apology. They felt they had to do what they did at that time, none of which violated any sections of the Ohio Revised Code. “Tradition” is why angry Buckeye fan cries foul. Hypocrisy is why I tell them to save their tears.

  2. To be Honest Will the only thing i have ever had a problem with where TP2 is concerned is an overall lack of Maturity to play QB at a high level, he is an incredible athlete but is not a QB and any pro scout will most likely agree with me. Good luck to him with a pro career he should enter this years draft as a WR or a RB and hope he gets a shot otherwise i dont think he will be overall a very good canidate for a pro job

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