After Bowl, Pryor Talked 2011 Plans

After Ohio State beat Arkansas after the Sugar Bowl, Terrelle Pryor sounded like a changed man in the Louisiana Superdome locker room. Having been through the trials of the announced NCAA suspension and then led his team to a thrilling postseason win, Pryor talked about what he hopes to accomplish in 2011 even while he can't be on the field for the start of the season.

The days are ticking away in which Terrelle Pryor can change his mind and choose to enter the NFL draft.

If his words after Ohio State's Sugar Bowl win against Arkansas on Jan. 4 are any indication, that won't be a worry before the deadline of Jan. 15.

Pryor spoke about his plans to return to OSU in the locker room after the 31-26 victory, saying that even though he faces a five-game suspension from the NCAA, he would like to come back and be a mentor to the players vying for the starting job.

"I'm going to try to learn and feed off of them," he said. "I'll try to tell Braxton and Kenny and them guys to take care of the ball and don't do the things sometimes I do, the stupid stuff – just try to make plays and take care of the ball and lead the team with great leadership. I can definitely be there and do that."

The Braxton and Kenny to whom he referred are true freshman Braxton Miller, Scout's No. 2 quarterback in the class of 2011, and sophomore Kenny Guiton, who received limited playing time in 2010.

The other candidates to take over while Pryor is on the shelf include senior Joe Bauserman and redshirt freshman Taylor Graham.

Pryor said he's looking forward to seeing how those guys perform but is interested in seeing what Miller brings to the table.

"We've got Taylor, Kenny, Joe Bauserman, and we have Braxton coming in," Pryor said. "We don't know exactly what is going to happen with him. We'll see him on film and evaluate him, but as of right now I feel he's a pretty good quarterback. I actually hosted him for his visit, so it was a great time.

"He's a real, real good kid. The Buckeye Nation will definitely love him. I'll coach them all up and do the best I can to get some victories while I'm gone. You never know what can happen."

And few players would be able to explain to Miller the pressure that comes along with being a highly touted quarterback – including one who plays early – than Pryor. Only four games into his OSU career after coming in as the nation's No. 1 player, Pryor was elevated to a starting role and led the Buckeyes to an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl after a Big Ten championship.

Miller could be pressed into action even earlier than Pryor because of the suspension. He led his Huber Heights Wayne squad to the Ohio Division I final before a close loss to powerhouse Lakewood St. Edward, showing his abilities throughout the state's tournament at the highest level of football.

While Pryor – who is recovering from foot surgery after having his leg rolled up on late in the Sugar Bowl win by an Arkansas player – has pledged to help the youngsters behind him, he said he'll be doing his best to work toward 2011 while dealing with the NCAA appeal process.

"I'm just going to work my tail off and hopefully we get a good appeal back," he said. "Maybe they'll appeal us, maybe they won't. Regardless of that, I have a plan to follow with (head coach Jim) Tressel. That's exactly what I'm going to do."

Pryor also spoke of his love of Ohio State after the win, the last for 24 seniors and the first against an SEC opponent in a bowl game in school history.

"We knew we had the Sugar Bowl game and we had to play our best for the seniors," he said. "I know I wanted to play my best for the fans as well because I love Buckeye Nation, I love Ohio State. I wouldn't have a tattoo on my arm of Ohio State if I didn't love it.

"All the things I've experienced here from a freshman on up, I've just really enjoyed being around the guys like Boom (Dan Herron) and stuff like that. I'm really appreciative of this university and the fan base and everybody."

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