Pryor Not Signing on the Line Today

By: AP
By: AP

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Terrelle Pryor's news conference Wednesday is going on as planned, but the highly touted prep quarterback won't be making a coach very happy on signing day.
The Associated Press sent Pryor a text message a few hours before he was to address the media at Jeannette (Pa.) High School, asking if he would announce where he will attend college.
"No, I'm not," Pryor replied in a text message to the AP.
Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, a family friend and recruiting adviser, said Pryor simply is not ready to make a decision.
"I told him, `Don't make a decision under duress because everybody wants you to,' and I don't fault him for delaying it," Batch told the AP. "Just because it's the first day, it doesn't mean he has to sign today."
Ohio State and Michigan were regarded as the front-runners for Pryor, but Penn State's push to keep him closer to home and a hectic schedule has led to his delayed decision. Oregon, LSU and Florida were possible destinations for him and might get back in the running for his talents now.
The 6-foot-6 Pryor is rated as the No. 1 recruit at any position by Rivals.com and Scout.com, 16th by Takkle.com and was the MVP last month in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, who expected Pryor to choose Ohio State, said it is not unprecedented for football recruits to delay signing a national letter of intent.
He cited the case of Vidal Hazelton, who "carried it out for three weeks, choosing between USC and Penn State, before signing with USC two years ago."
However, Farrell said, "I don't remember the last No. 1 player to not make a decision on signing day.
"But I can guarantee Pryor is not doing this for the attention. He's not arrogant. Actually, he's more mature than a typical teenager."
Batch said logistics led to Pryor's decision.
"His basketball schedule has prevented him from making more visits than to Michigan and Ohio State," Batch said. "Now, he's a week away from knowing exactly when and where he will be playing (playoff) basketball.
"He wants to give Penn State and maybe a couple other schools a fair shot by making a visit before he makes a decision that is going to affect him for the rest of his life."
Batch acknowledged Pryor's highly anticipated announcement might be weeks away.
"The biggest thing I've tried to tell him is, `You control this situation. It doesn't control you,"' Batch said.
Mark Rea, editor of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, an independent publication devoted to Ohio State athletics, said Ohio State fans will have a difficult time waiting for Pryor to make a decision.
"If he takes it out a week or more, we'll have people on suicide watch," Rea joked.
Pryor is the only player in the rich history of Pennsylvania high school football to run for and throw for more than 4,000 yards, though he accomplished the feat playing smaller schools.
"The level of competition he went up against played a part in my evaluation," said Bill Urbanik, a former coach and scout, whose evaluation contributed to Takkle.com's relatively low ranking. "Pennsylvania used to be the best state for high school football 40 years ago, but it's not in the top 10 anymore in terms of producing NFL players."


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