One night before the first day prep players can sign national letters of intent, the nation's top prospect had it set in his mind where he wanted to go to college – and it appeared that college was Ohio State. But a disagreement with his father created enough doubt in Pryor's mind that he opted to wait it out.
"Me and my dad had a little battle of differences," Pryor said at a press conference in his high school gymnasium. "He had a different mind and I had a different mind. He likes a couple schools. Not the school I was thinking."
By "couple of schools," Pryor likely meant Penn State. Thought to be out of the picture for some time now, the Nittany Lions have roared back into the equation thanks to their focus on Pryor's father.
PSU head coach Joe Paterno and a handful of assistants were in town last week for an Italian dinner at Jeannette head coach Ray Reitz's house. The guests included Pryor and a handful of his high school coaches – but not his parents. PSU's Jay Paterno and Tom Bradley accompanied the octogenarian on his trip.
Although Pryor's father was not at the dinner, Pryor said the Nittany Lions have forged a serious relationship with him.
"They just hit my father hard," he said. "They visited with my father more than anybody. They've been to my dad's house so many times it's unbelievable. Tom Bradley knows the town probably same as my dad now. My dad's like in love with them."
That has been enough to get Pryor to hold off on making his final decision. At a press conference that was called when he was still scheduled to announce, the 6-6, 225-pound athlete told a smattering of reporters and a national television audience of the latest development in his recruiting saga.
In addition, the decision to not sign with a school has helped keep the door open for Oregon. Pryor had reportedly dropped the Ducks from the list of schools he was considering Tuesday night but has since re-added them without an immediate time window to hold him down.
"It's Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State," he said. "Oregon's still in it now. I have time and I can take visits now, so they're definitely in the picture. Sometime I'll be taking a flight out to Oregon to check it out."
The exact details as to when he will be checking out PSU and Oregon are still undecided. Pryor is in the tail end of his prep basketball season and said his visits will likely be determined by his schedule. Pryor said he will consult his mother, his coach and NFL quarterback Charlie Batch – who has served as a mentor to Pryor – as he tries to plan his official visits.
Players have until April 1 to finalize their college decision, but nearly all of them decide on signing day for fear of losing their open spot on their future team. In the case of Pryor, who is regarded as the country's top overall prospect, that is not a concern. All four head coaches have told him they will keep a spot open for him should he pick their school.
Batch will accompany Pryor to PSU and Oregon and was with him when he visited Michigan but has no plans to check out OSU, the first school Pryor officially visited.
All three advisors sat with Pryor on a makeshift stage in the gym. Both Batch and Reitz said they fully supported Pryor's decision to wait until he could fully examine all his options.
"Basically I help put everything out on the table for him and help him out from that standpoint," Batch said. "Whenever he's comfortable making that decision, that's what he's going to do. Today was just not the day."
Tuesday apparently could have been the day, however. Published reports throughout the day indicated that he would be deciding on signing day, but those were then refuted later in the evening.
That likely had a lot to do with the conversation between Pryor and his father.
"I had my mind set last night where I was going to go, but then I started thinking twice," he said. "Penn State, they hit me hard and I just don't think I gave them a fair chance. I'm looking forward to taking a visit there.
"I feel real comfortable with Penn State. That was the one thing that I felt guilty about, because I had my mind set a little bit and I just felt guilty because I wasn't giving them a chance. I think it's a real great school."
During his press conference, Pryor mentioned some of his friends that signed with Ohio State today. Among them, he listed offensive lineman Michael Brewster, a five-star prospect out of Florida.
Back in Columbus, Brewster expressed his confidence that Pryor would be his future teammate.
"I'm definitely going to make sure that he ends up here," Brewster said. "I don't want anyone else blocking for him but me.
"I know other programs are trying to do this and that. Penn State is trying to bully him and play the in-state team, ‘I'm the little town,' but I just want to make sure he's protected not only on the field but off.
That all said, Batch did not rule out the possibility that other schools could enter the picture. With depth charts more set, teams that still need a quarterback could come calling for Pryor's services.
When will it end? Neither Pryor nor his advisors know. But good things will come to at least one school that waits.