Today, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor felt the heat of the ongoing NCAA investigation into the school's football program. A player who was placed on a pedestal before taking his first collegiate snap is now in the center of the continuing OSU controversy.
Back in the fall of 2007 when the #1 recruit in the country was being courted by all the major college football programs in the land, Terrelle Pryor was the man. Lauded as gem that would propel a program to a national championship, it’s not far flung to believe Pryor was treated like a king back in high school.
At the time, I was at WVU when I got a text from my friend who was at the nearby Target. She had spotted the 6 ft. 6 in. quarterback wandering through the store with onlookers lurking behind every aisle. When I received her message, I salivated at the thought of him running Rich Rod’s spread and shred offense. I was swooning over a high school senior. I fell for him.
Even before Pryor ever left his hometown for Columbus and BCS bowl glory he was a star. Stepping on campus in fall 2008, he was the swingingest dick around. Instant royalty status, scarlet scepter and all. The average student probably thinks that being the manon campus would mean beers and shots for themselves and their friends from their favorite watering hole. The bartender at your call all evening and at the end of the night he hands you a $6 tab. Sounds pretty good right? But holy hell—Pryor’s netting $40,000 for signatures, receiving thousands of dollars in free food and drinks from restaurants, free tattoos and access to brand new dealer cars. I’d imagine a compound overlooking his kingdom of Columbus was in the works as well.
It’s safe to say Pryor thought his reign over Buckeye nation would not end like this; arrogance ultimately unwound his scarlet and gray sweater vest. Rolling up to a players meeting in a new dealer car the night after Tressel resigned. This on top of driving with an expired license shows how much pull and presumption Pryor had. Pull from the Buckeye faithful who gave him the keys to the castle and the presumption that he was in fact the man.
"Pryor Knowledge" by the always spot on LSUfreek
Now Pryor has left school in the wake of the Ohio State blow-up, likely headed for the NFL supplemental draft or the UFL. It once looked like NFL riches were on the horizon; now a more modest path awaits him. For the first time in Pryor’s life he is no longer the man. And maybe that’s exactly what he needs.
C.T. Schwink is College Magazine’s sports editor, bringing you the biggest sporting news of the day for you to gnaw on. Let him know what you think in the comments or find him on Twitter, @ SchwinkCT .