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Terrelle Pryor Announces He’s Leaving Ohio State. Luke Fickell Breathes a Sigh of Relief.

Terrelle Pryor passes while Justin Boren blocks

Image via Wikipedia

Ohio State starting QB Terrelle Pryor announced yesterday that he would not be returning this fall. I don’t think that many of us are surprised by this. Pryor is the centerpiece of the current NCAA investigation into several violations committed by both past and present players. Violations that former coach Jim Tressel tried to cover up last fall, which lead to his resignation on Memorial Day.

Ohio State has now officially lost the two faces of it’s football program; so where does this leave them? Actually, they’re not in that bad of shape. Pending the outcome of the NCAA investigation, the program can now move on, and move on they will.

The program Tressel left behind is a damned good one. They were always, and are still, in a position to reload rather than rebuild. Coach Luke Fickell was a well respected assistant, both by coaches and players. I have every confidence in the world that he’ll keep Ohio State Football at a high level. As for the QB position, they are set for another four years. Freshman Braxton Miller is regarded as the best high school QB in the country. I’m betting he starts in game one, and stays there until it’s time for him to go pro. The kid is special, and he’s a winner.

As for Pryor, I think his future is a little cloudy. He will turn pro, but he is not ready. He still needed that last year of college to develop. Furthermore, with the NFL lockout still unsettled, it may be a year before he can get his foot in the door. He may not even be highly sought after by NFL teams.

Although Pryor is a big game player with three wins over Michigan, and two BCS wins under his belt, Pryor’s talent has often taken a back seat to his behavior. He is a character risk to many NFL general managers. His skill set at the next level is also in question; many talent evaluators in the NFL feel that he is more suited to play wide receiver because he’s tall, and runs like a deer. He’s already being compared to wide outs such as Calvin Johnson or Plaxico Burress. Personally, I don’t think his ego will let him play anything other than quarterback. Unless he grows up in a hurry, he’s not going to get that chance.

I loved watching Pryor play as a Buckeye, but I’m glad he’s moving on. As much as I love the players, I love the program more. Pryor has become a distraction, as well as a cancer to the team. It’s time to move on to the new faces of the team: Coach Fickell and Braxton Miller.

Oh, and one more thing: Out of the top 25 football programs in the country, THE Ohio State was ranked #1 in Academic Progress Rate. Call them what you will, but the fact of the matter is that the Buckeyes kick ass in the class room as well as on the field.

Suck on that Michigan ;)

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