The End Is Near

The last few weeks and months have not quite gone accordingly to plan for the nation's top football prospect, but things are moving along for Terrelle Pryor. Read on for the latest on when he might be taking another visit (or two), what comes next in basketball both on and off the court and if the Buckeyes are still leading for his services.

Ever since National Signing Day has come and gone, Terrelle Pryor has had a single-minded focus on his basketball team's pursuit of a state championship. But now, with two games remaining, that process could be derailed thanks to a postgame fight.

Pryor and the Jeannette Jayhawks earned an 86-60 victory against North Catholic in nearby Hempfield on March 8. In what was apparently a chippy game, Pryor finished with 21 points, six rebounds, six assists, three blocks and three dunks. But what were apparently some words spoken and gestures made as the two teams shook hands spilled over into an all-out fight outside the North Catholic locker room.

Rob Stauffer, who served as the security escort responsible for taking North Central to its locker room, told the Pennsylvania state police that he was holding Pryor back during the melee. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Stauffer's glasses were broken as he tried to restrain Pryor.

No criminal charges have been filed, but the WPIAL is looking into the matter and is expected to announce any possible penalties following meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The possibility exists that Pryor and/or some of his teammates could find themselves ineligible for Wednesday night's state semifinal game against North East.

"I think he will (be OK to play)," Jeannette quarterbacks coach Roy Hall told "You never know though. Anything could happen."

According to Hall, the incident was just the latest in a long list of similar situations that have required the 18-year-old Pryor to act well beyond his age.

"After the game they made some gestures about Terrelle and made a couple of racial slurs – anything to get him to lose his cool," he said. "Every kid he plays, they wanted to try and prove people wrong. They tried to make him give in and fail and do something where he can get shot down. He's done remarkable."

Equally remarkable is the amount of media coverage surrounding Pryor's recruitment. During the past week, the Capital Times of Madison, Wis., reported that the Memphis Tigers had entered the picture and were selling Pryor on the merits of their basketball program despite the fact that Pryor has said he plans to give up the sport to concentrate on football at the collegiate level.

The paper reported that Pryor would be visiting March 7, but the trip did not happen as he was busy helping his team prepare for their most recent playoff game.

When asked if the Tigers were now players for Pryor's services, Hall laughed.

"Memphis? That's the first I've heard that one," he said.

Pryor had taken official visits to Ohio State and Michigan and has also listed Penn State and Oregon as his favorites. The chief reason he did not commit to the Buckeyes was because his father wanted him to take an official visit to see the Nittany Lions.

Now it appears that visit will be occurring shortly. Should the Jayhawks advance to the state championship game, they will play March 15 at the Bryce Jordan Center on campus at PSU. Pryor's visit figures to happen either during the weekend or sometime during the following week.

In addition, an official trip to Oregon is still a possibility but is looking more and more like a longshot.

"Anything's possible," Hall said. "You've got to think the kid has to be drained."

April 1 is the deadline for high school athletes to sign national letters of intent. While that does not preclude a student-athlete from attending a specific university, Hall said he believes Pryor will make a final decision before then.

"I would imagine in the next week or two, I definitely would," he said. "I think he will definitely wrap it up by then."

College coaches are only allowed to call him one time per week, but Pryor is allowed to make as many phone calls as he likes. Hall said Pryor had been in touch with coaches, but he was unsure of which ones.

Do the Buckeyes still lead for his services? No one save for Pryor likely knows for sure, but all signs seem to point to OSU as his school of choice. The latest string of evidence came when Pryor found himself unable to accept an award issued to the nation's top prep football player by the Maxwell club.

In his place went DeVier Posey, a signed member of OSU's class of 2008.

"Terrelle's going to go where is best for him," Hall said. "He's going to talk to his family and make the best decision for himself.

"He's still concentrating. He wants to win the state championship in high school basketball and that's it. Then he's going to concentrate on football and wherever he makes his choice."

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