Bizarre Buckeye: Terrelle Pryor Is Just Another Overrated Ohio State Quarterback

Pete Dymeck@PeteDymeckAnalyst IOctober 24, 2008

Never before have we seen a college-football player of this magnitude be so overrated.

The aforementioned statement may be coming out of our mouth's four years from now.

While he certainly still has room to grow, Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State's starting quarterback, is just a true freshman, but the weight on his shoulders can only be compared to the burden carried by Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game.

Prior to his commitment to Ohio State, Pryor was considering the Buckeyes, Michigan, Penn State, and Oregon. He won a football state championship for Jeannette High School in Pennsylvania, the school's first ever.

He also led the Jeannette Jayhawks to the state playoffs in basketball, where he became entangled in a physical altercation with the opposing team.

Then, Terrelle Pryor comes out and bashes Penn State because Happy Valley is not "urban enough" for him. Some media pundits were questioning whether or not Terrelle Pryor was embracing the "Thug Life" attitude that has plagued sports on not just the collegiate level, but the professional level as well.

Maybe Terrelle Pryor has forgotten already that his hometown of Jeannette, PA has a population of roughly 10,000. It also sits just three counties away from Penn State University, in the heart of western Pennsylvania.

Last time I checked, western Pennsylvania is nothing like a budding metropolis (except for the declining metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh).

Regardless, Terrelle Pryor selected Ohio State, and that is where the story begins.

Ohio State has never been a safe haven for quarterbacks, especially quarterbacks that have hoped to succeed on the NFL level. Simply put, four quarterbacks own most of the passing records for Ohio State—Art Schlichter, Bobby Hoying, Joe Germaine, and Troy Smith. As a matter of fact, no Ohio State quarterback has ever accomplished any major feats on Sundays.

Surely, true freshman Terrelle Pryor will break most of the passing records at Ohio State, regardless of how poor his mechanics are.

After a 35-3 whooping by the Trojans of Southern Cal, Buckeyes Head Coach Jim Tressel decided to lean on Terrelle Pryor as his starting quarterback since then-incumbent Todd Boeckman, a senior, was completing just 67.3 percent of his passes.

While Pryor is 5-0 as starter of the Buckeyes, he is averaging just a little more than seven yards per completed pass. For comparison's sake, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson, and Texas' Colt McCoy are all averaging more than 9.6 yards per completion.

When the tape is rolling, we see a ton of inconsistencies with Pryor. First, his pocket presence isn't that great. Hopefully for Buckeyes fans, as he matures, he will learn to make better reads and check down targets. His throwing mechanics are awful, from a scouts perspective.

His passing motion is an awkward combination of Vince Young's and Colt Brennan's. Another problem for Pryor is throwing from the hip. He simply doesn't do it. That is why a lot of his passes have a ton of air underneath them.

Mobility-wise, Pryor may be the best in college football since Pat White stepped onto the field in Morgantown. Pryor has 653 passing yards for six touchdowns and two interceptions, but most importantly 411 rushing yards for five touchdowns. Athletically, Terrelle Pryor is as gifted as we have ever seen.

Maybe that is why Sports Illustrated dubbed Pryor as "the most anticipated" high school recruit ever.

Today, Pryor's deficiencies may come back to hurt him and the Buckeyes against a veteran Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 11.8 points per game. They also have one of the nation's top passing defenses, allowing just 156 yards through the air per game. Terrelle Pryor will have to figure out how to read Penn State's complicated defensive packages quick or he could be running for his life all night long.

His "run-first" mentality needs to go. As soon as Steve Young, Steve McNair, and Donovan McNabb dumped that mentality, they became All-Pro quarterbacks. The NFL is so close to him, yet so far away still.

While every game at this point is just another stepping stone, Pryor is still an overrated quarterback that will cost the Buckeyes at a chance for the Big-10 crown.

We have seen Ohio State choke in the last two BCS National Championships. What makes one think that Terrelle Pryor is the guy that can put them over the top?

Already, his future as an NFL quarterback has been called into question due to his style of play and poor mechanics.

The upside to Pryor is that he is a very intelligent kid. He is caught up in a whirlwind of hype that he does not yet deserve. From his off-the-field incidents in high school to attitude towards the rural community where he has come from, one has to wonder.

He can change the "other half" of America's attitude on him tonight though by getting the last laugh against Happy Valley and knocking off the unbeaten Penn State Nittany Lions.

First, before we hype him up with a ton of YouTube video highlights, Web site fan pages, and a plethora of other unnecessary promotions, let Terrelle Pryor prove it first on the football field.

Too late.

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