Pryor Adjusting To The College Game

The biggest group of reporters surrounding any one player during Ohio State's photo day was there to talk to a player who is yet to take a collegiate snap. So it goes for Terrelle Pryor, formerly the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect and now battling for playing time for the Buckeyes. Take a look at how the adjustment to the collegiate game has gone thus far in this article.

There has been speculation for more than a year now about what sort of role Terrelle Pryor could find himself playing in the Ohio State offense. Questioned on that same topic, head coach Jim Tressel has said that it all depends on how the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect can pick up on things once he is in camp and under center.

Now nearly one week into fall camp, it appears Pryor himself has no idea just yet what sort of role – or any – he will play for the Buckeyes this season.

"We're not talking about anything right now," he said. "We're just in camp seeing who's ready to play. That's it."

The prevailing sentiment is that Pryor will be utilized in a specific package of plays that can best take advantage of his abilities. Tressel has likened the situation to that seen at Florida two seasons ago, when Tim Tebow replaced starter Chris Leak in short-yardage and red-zone situations.

The comparison would make sense, as the Buckeyes will not ask Pryor to do things incumbent starter Todd Boeckman can already do. Rather, the plan is to put him on the field to do things neither Boeckman nor backup Joe Bauserman can do on their own.

But asked if the Buckeyes have plans to use a two-quarterback system similar to what the Gators displayed in 2006, quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels was mum on the topic.

"That's to be determined," he said. "You go through camp, and the closer you come to the end of camp, then you have to formulate some plans."

When it was pointed out to Daniels that the players seem excited about the possibility, he replied, "So far through camp I think they've been excited about everything we've done."

Daniels has praised Pryor's work ethic since camp began.

"Right now, he's going through a stage of learning, and when you go through learning you become a little hesitant on what you're doing," he said. "He's probably still at that point. But I've been very happy. I think he's what we expected athletically.

"The one thing about him is that he really wants to learn and really is studying or working hard to learn. That's the most encouraging thing. We knew he was a great athlete and all of those other things, but his attitude, his approach to everything that we do has just been great."

The approach of Daniels, a coach with 37 years of experience under his belt, has been different than that of Jeannette, Pa., quarterbacks coach Roy Hall. According to Pryor, Daniels is more of a "big-time coach."

Pryor alluded to the struggles Daniels mentioned, citing the speed of the game as one of the biggest factors to which he has had to adjust.

"Once I get the packages down, then technique can come and everything will fall into place," he said. "As of now I need to learn the offense more and that'll be it. It's just like the U.S. Army All-American Game – There's just a lot faster kids, stronger kids."

It has been in the film room that Pryor said the coaches are pointing out things he needs to work on, from footwork to technique. That has been the focus thus far as opposed to learning the entire offense.

As such, the coaches have not spoken to him about what he is doing well or where he needs to improve. The concentration instead has simply been on watching his mistakes on film.

Junior wide receiver Brian Hartline said Pryor has not had any problems fitting in within the locker room.

"He was actually more scared about people not liking him," he said. "He's just trying to fit in with everyone else. He's doing fine. I'm not worried about him. He'll find a place in the system too, so it'll be alright."

Early on, senior cornerback Malcolm Jenkins – a leading preseason candidate for the Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back – dared Pryor to throw at him during drills. It was a challenge that the freshman could not turn down.

"Malcolm's funny, man," Pryor said, noticing Jenkins standing within the cluster of reporters surrounding him. "That's my man. It's all about competing. I love to compete. He was just testing me to see how I reacted to it and I don't back down."


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