Big Names Take In Pryor's Game

Any time Terrelle Pryor takes the field, he can expect a big crowd. For Thursday night's contest against rival Greensburg Central Catholic, Pryor and the Jayhawks had a few well-known names dressed in scarlet and gray on hand to take in the contest and was there.

With a perfect regular season on the line, a packed house greeted Terrelle Pryor and his Jeannette Jayhawks on Thursday night. But while the Jeannette crowd spilled over from the visiting stands to the home side, a handful of visitors from Columbus took top billing off the field.

There, in a room on the second level of the press box at Hempfield Area, sat the brain trust of the Ohio State football and men's basketball teams: Jim Tressel and Thad Matta.

"It's unusual," Tressel said of getting to see a high school game. "It's so unusual to have a Thursday game, so we had a chance to get Coach Matta out and we got to talk about our young teams and the growing pains. We'll get back and we'll get back to bed early and we'll be fine. It's an unusual situation."

They were joined on the 38-minute flight by OSU wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell, quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels and assistant basketball coach Alan Major. The five coaches, who are not allowed to discuss specific recruits until they sign a national Letter of Intent in February, flew into a nearby airport in Latrobe, Pa., and arrived early in the second quarter.

The coaches hit the road in the third quarter with the game well in hand, but their appearance did not go unnoticed by Pryor.

"I talked to (Tressel) before the game," Pryor said. "He told me he was coming. He said he was flying on a jet down, he'd leave at 6 and be here at 6:45 and he made it."

Additionally, Pryor said he had noticed seeing Matta at the game. Although he is considering playing both sports in college, Pryor's immediate focus is on his football team. The last time he had touched a basketball, he said, was in gym class.

On the field, it was another prolific night for the nation's top quarterback prospect. In 42-6 Jeannette win over Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic, Pryor accounted for all six touchdowns – split evenly on the ground and through the air.

He finished 9 of 15 for 146 yards and carried the ball 10 times for 167 yards. On one rush, Pryor picked up 17 yards by keeping the ball around the right end on an option, spinning away from a would-be tackler at the line of scrimmage and gaining the corner, just barely being pushed out of bounds by a defensive back after a 17-yard pickup.

After the game, he felt that was more impressive than an 88-yard touchdown run he had to start off the third quarter.

Asked what his favorite run of the day was, Pryor said, "I don't even know. It'd be the one I spun off the dude, not the long one. I do that all the time. I do that all day, every day, every day, every day."

The victory secured a perfect 9-0 season for the Jayhawks.

"We expected that, all the hard work we did," he said. "We expected to get here and we did it. It feels good. Our goal is much more higher. We knew we could do it."

Although the playoffs are looming for Pryor, so too is at least one official visit. Pryor will be in Columbus Nov. 3 as the Buckeyes host Wisconsin.

"It's Wisconsin," he said when asked why he was taking an official visit during the season. "Michael Brewster and all the other recruits are going down there, so they asked me if I would go down there and I said sure. It's a big game for them and I wanted to go down there and show some support.

"I just want to get a feel for the school. I just want to go there and check out the area and see if I can fit in there."

The game will be the first contest Pryor has seen at Ohio Stadium.

With both OSU and Penn State among his top schools, Pryor was viewed as a likely candidate to be there when the Nittany Lions host the Buckeyes on Oct. 27. However, he said he will not be making that trip.

"They're my top teams," he said. "I can't do that. If I go there, then Ohio State, they're there. That's disrespectful, sort of. I like both the schools and I won't do that."

Pryor said OSU's proximity is a plus for him but not a deciding factor.

"I'm not saying I would go there or not," he said. "They're one of my top schools and they're only two and a half hours away, so that's a plus for them too. If I have to go down to Florida, one of my other top schools, then I have to do that."

While Pryor said he feels pressure at every game he plays or every place he goes, head coach Ray Reitz said he has done a good job of handling it all.

"He's a good player because he keeps his poise," he said. "Terrelle's a veteran and he's been around. He can do whatever you ask him."

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