On the final day before his school let out for Easter break, Pryor held a press conference at high noon in his high school auditorium. There, within the walls of a school he has helped put on the nationwide map, the 6-6, 225-pound quarterback prospect faced the world and declared his intentions to play for OSU head coach Jim Tressel at the next level.
The decision caps what has been a whirlwind of a recruitment process for Pryor. After taking an official visit to OSU during the Nov. 2 weekend, he helped lead the Jayhawks to a state championship in football. As a result of the extended season, though, the school's basketball season had to be pushed back while the same athletes finished out their season on the gridiron.
The Buckeyes and the Wolverines comprised one half of his final list of schools. Oregon and Penn State were the other two, and Pryor had plans to visit both of them before making a final decision. But as time ticked away to National Signing Day, he found himself unable to do so.
A trip to Oregon was scrapped, and it was decided that Pryor had taken enough unofficial visits to PSU that an official visit was not needed. However, a disagreement with his father on the eve of signing day over whether or not he should take an official trip to Happy Valley led him to delay making a final decision. Players have until April 1 to sign a national letter-of-intent, but most sign on signing day.
Back in Columbus on signing day, Tressel – who was not allowed to speak directly about Pryor due to NCAA rules – mentioned that his class of 2008 would look even better if it wound up being comprised of 20 members, an obvious nod to Pryor.
"We're still recruiting as we speak and that's about all we're allowed to say about that," Tressel said on signing day. "I guess we're allowed to say we're still recruiting at the quarterback position. I think that's allowable."
But after signing day, Pryor remained focused on his hardwood exploits and helped lead his team to another state championship that culminated Saturday afternoon. From there, word leaked out that he was planning to wrap up the recruiting process sooner than later, eventually leading to Wednesday's press conference.
With his commitment to OSU, Pryor gives the Buckeyes six five-star players as ranked by Scout.com in their class of 2008 – a figure that already ranked as the best in the nation. A class with 20 commitments averages 3.95 stars per player, putting OSU just behind Notre Dame (3.96) for tops in the nation.
On signing day, one of those five-star recruits made a pitch as to why Pryor should select the Buckeyes. Offensive lineman Michael Brewster, who has become friends with Pryor throughout the recruiting process, did the honors.
"Because we have one of the best coaches in the country," Brewster said. "We've got the offense that will mold him into a Heisman (winner), a line that will protect him and this offense will not only mold him for a Heisman but will also make him ready for the NFL. The spread offense at Michigan and what they run, that will get you hurt as you can see in all those programs: Oregon, Florida, West Virginia. Also, nobody runs that in the NFL. I just want my good friend to be playing quarterback so I can protect him.
"I just tell him to stay strong and he'll be fine. He'll figure it out."
And so he did, from OSU's point of view at least. For the Wolverines, Ducks and Nittany Lions, it's now officially time for Plan B.
Check back with BuckeyeSports.com this afternoon as we bring you all the latest from Pryor's press conference and the reaction from around the country.