"That would be my dad," Pryor said softly. "I would think every young man would look at his dad as the most important person in their life. I mean, he's the person that has raised me to be a man. He's the person that raised me to do good things, not just in sports, but in my life. I'm tight with my mom, too, no doubt about that. We talk all the time and we understand each other really well. It's just different with my dad, because we just get along so well with each other and we're so close."
Craig Pryor has been battling with some health issues recently, but Terrelle happily reported that his father is doing much better.
"My dad is doing real good right now," Pryor stated with a smile. "Everything is looking better for him. He's a Pryor and he's a fighter. He won't ever give up, so that's going to be alright. I'm sure of that."
Much was written that Craig Pryor was the reason that his son did not sign with Ohio State on signing day. The elder Pryor wanted Terrelle to wait and be totally sure of his decision. It was advice that the youngster heeded, and obviously their relationship remains just as strong today.
Even though father and son were on the same page with the decision to wait, the national sports media wasn't in agreement with the delay. Much was written about Pryor extending the announcement of his choice to continue the drama and soak up more of the attention. That sentiment was not shared by those closest to the star quarterback however.
Julie Posey is the mother of Ohio State signee Devier Posey. Most people are unaware of how close the friendship is between her son and Pryor. Julie Posey came to know Terrelle Pryor very well throughout the recruiting process. It seems she has gotten to know most of the 2008 Buckeye recruiting class very well. Ask any of the members of the "Brew Crew" and they will identify her as the unofficial "mom" to the entire class.
"I think Terrelle is a fine young man," Julie Posey began. "I was very impressed with him the day he signed. When the reporters accused him of milking the process for all the attention, he just looked them in the eyes and told them he was doing this for his father. Just because the media proclaims you as the number one player doesn't mean you have to do what they want, when they want you to do it. It takes a lot of courage for Terrelle to stand up there and say he did it for his dad. For a young man to have that much respect for his dad, that even though Terrelle wanted to sign with Ohio State, he agreed with his dad's wishes to step back and look at some other schools. The truth is that he played his football season, went straight to San Antonio for the all-star game, and then went right into basketball. He never missed a practice or a game with any team he played for. He never compromised any team he competed for and that tells me a lot about the young man. He had enough guts to tell the entire sporting world that "I need to wait." When the media isn't there after things go wrong, it will be his family that's there for him."
Julie Posey also spent time with Pryor during the weekend of the Ohio State spring game. She was thrilled to see how happy he was, now that the recruiting is over.
"It was delightful to see him at the spring game," she said. "He was so relaxed and so happy. He was just there being one of the guys. I hope you saw the pictures of Terrelle wearing the rain poncho at the game, because I gave him that poncho. I read that the poncho is going to sell for $100,000 to charity. Let them know I need to get my cut of that. Of course, I'm just kidding, but we had an extra poncho and I gave it to him so he could stay dry. I'm very happy for the close friendship between Terrelle and Devier. I know Terrelle would call Devier when things got tough for him. When he needed to talk, he knew he could trust Devier. Terrelle feels confident in Devier. I think Terrelle told Devier where he was going to college all along, but Devier never told anyone. That's just how he is. If you tell Devier something, and you say it's between us, then that's how it is."
As she has with much of the Brew Crew, Julie Posey has developed a relationship with Pryor. Her role as the unofficial "mom" to the Brew Crew is not something she takes lightly.
"With young people you can tell when you've made a connection," she explained. "Terrelle and I made a connection a while ago. It started last summer at the Ohio State senior camp and it's continued to this day. I do have a parental-type relationship with Terrelle. I think he knows that as much as I'll be there for my own sons, that he can count on me too. And I feel that way about all of them. This is a special group of kids and they are close as friends, but they also know how to give each other room to be who they are. They are all very respectful towards each other and especially toward each other's families. Terrelle is so respectful to people older than himself. You can see he was taught to respect his elders by his parents."
It's one thing to hear admirer's speak well of a person. It's more meaningful when that person's actions reflect the words that are spoken about them.
In the athletic world, there are few things more important to an athlete than the number they wear on their jersey. Professional athletes have been known to offer cars or money to a teammate in exchange for a certain number. A player's number is often a reflection of the player himself. That is not the case with Terrelle Pryor. It was widely assumed that he would request, and receive, number one for his Ohio State jersey. That was not the case at all.
"I'm going to be wearing number two," Pryor reported. "Coach Tressel talked about me wearing number eight, or two, or eleven. I wore number eleven in high school, but I settled on number two. That will work fine with me. I like that a lot."
That might not be etched in stone, though, in a word of caution before taking the family out to purchase number two jerseys for everybody. There is a chance that Pryor might not be wearing that number when fall camp rolls around.
It can be reported that Pryor had a discussion with former Buckeye great Cris Carter, who wore number two during his Ohio State playing days, during the weekend of the spring game. Carter, who served as an honorary captain for the Buckeyes during the game, has a son, Duron, who is being recruited by Ohio State. Duron Carter is a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is also a tremendous wide receiver prospect and the Buckeyes have offered him a scholarship. What would happen if the younger Carter should choose to attend college at Ohio State? It would only seem natural that Duron Carter would want to wear number two, in honor of his father. Would Cris Carter have to watch his son play for the Buckeyes and not see him wear the same number that HE made famous?
"I talked with Mr. Carter about that yesterday," Pryor admitted. "I told him "Mr. Carter, if your son comes to Ohio State, he can have the number." It's not that important to me. I think it's only right that a son would want to wear his dad's number on his jersey. I'm glad his son has that much respect for his dad and I have a lot of respect for him, too. I never knew Mr. Carter wore that number when he played here. I knew he was a great player though, and it was great sitting down with him and talking about all kinds of things. He's a good man. If I give that kid the number, I'll just go take number eleven back off Jake [Stoneburner]."
As this interview was taking place, Pryor was being bombarded with requests for pictures and autographs. He had the poise of a seasoned professional athlete, as he was gracious enough to his adoring fans, while still giving a great interview. At times it's hard to grasp that Terrelle Pryor is still a teenager. He has been in the news so much and has received so much press coverage, that it seems we've been reading about him for years.
What is very apparent is that this young man is clearly a different person than the one portrayed in the press. The people that know him the best, simply love the kid. Parents, teammates and coaches tell a far different tale than the national media. It should be evident that the opinion of those closest to him should carry a lot of weight. The actions of Pryor himself should carry the most weight.
The people I spoke with were unanimous in their praise of Terrelle Pryor, the person. What about the thoughts about Terrelle Pryor, the football player? It would seem that the sky is the limit.
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is known as a coach that can get the most out of his quarterbacks. He saw Craig Krenzel develop into a national championship-caliber signal caller under his tutelage. Tressel also gets the bulk of the credit for turning Troy Smith into a Heisman Trophy winner. It's not hard to imagine Tressel salivating over what Terrelle Pryor can become at Ohio State.
On the day that Pryor announced he would be attending Ohio State, Tressel addressed the media and spoke about his plans for his young quarterback.
?The thing that you need to do as a coaching staff is get the people on the field that can make plays and design things for what people are ready to do, and he?s excited about learning the offense and he?s excited about helping in any way he can and he has great respect for Todd Boeckman and all the rest of the guys,? Tressel said. ?He has the ability to be a great dropback passer, a great play-action passer. He?s obviously a guy that can make plays with his feet and all the rest, but we just think that his upside and his future are tremendous and we won?t have to add a whole bunch because we don?t know that there?s much that we don?t do.?
With all due respect to Krenzel and Smith, neither of them had as high a skill level as Pryor. Combining Pryor's unbelievable talents with the coaching of Jim Tressel, just might put a type of quarterback on the field at Ohio State that has never been seen before. This could be the beginning of a very exciting era of Buckeye football.
In the final edition of this series, Terrelle Pryor speaks about the influence of the Brew Crew on him selecting Ohio State, and how he sees himself contributing in 2008. We will also hear from one of his closest friends in the 2008 Buckeye recruiting class. Be sure to check out the next edition of TP: The Making of the Brew Crew, Part-II.