Tressel's Decision Makes First Pick Easy

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was the first pick in the annual spring draft at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Read on to find why the Gray squad picked Pryor first, as well as where the Scarlet and Gray have strengths and weaknesses.

As soon as Kurt Coleman heard that Ohio State's top two quarterbacks would be live for two quarters during Saturday's spring game, he knew what he would do if his Gray squad had the first pick in the spring draft.

Then once the Gray won the coin flip Wednesday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and the right to pick first, the Gray spokesman did not hesitate.

"Terrelle Pryor," Coleman said after head coach Jim Tressel opened the draft.

Pryor will wear a black noncontact jersey in the first quarter for the Gray. Joe Bauserman will play for Scarlet and will also wear black in the first quarter. Walkon Justin Siems will be live and play for both teams. Pryor will be live in the second quarter, while Siems will play for Scarlet. In the third quarter, Bauserman is live and Siems switches to Gray. Pryor and Bauserman will both be live in the fourth quarter.

Coleman said the decision to open the draft with the quarterback position was an easy choice.

"It's always important to solidify the QB position," Coleman said. "It's the captain of the offense. It was really a question of how many live quarters there were going to be. Once we figured out they were going to be live two quarters, we had to get Terrelle. He's made so many plays with his feet and with his arm.

"It was a no brainer."

Seniors are divided into teams before the actual draft, and they draft the rest of their rosters. The order of the draft is by position. After Pryor was chosen, Bauserman was placed on the Scarlet as the last remaining quarterback. The Scarlet then opened another position, the "Leo" defensive line spot, and chose last year's first pick, Thaddeus Gibson. Solomon Thomas, the only remaining Leo, went to Gray. Click here to for the complete spring game rosters.

The draft went off without any trades, despite a surplus of tight ends for Gray and a surplus of offensive linemen for Scarlet. Both Jake Ballard, a preassigned senior, and Jake Stoneburner are on the Gray team. The only tight end for Scarlet is Spencer Smith. The Scarlet offensive line is made up of Jimmy Cordle, Bryant Browning, Andy Miller, Mike Adams, Connor Smith, Evan Blankenship and Zach Slagle. The Gray's offensive line is made up of Jack Mewhort, Justin Boren, Andrew Moses, Michael Brewster, Scott Sika, Chris Malone and Josh Kerr.

Both sides engaged in semi-heated trade discussions following the conclusion of the draft, but no deal was made. Cordle, a Scarlet spokesman, said the talks were only serious on the Gray side.

"I'm sure they were serious on their part," Cordle said. "You need a tackle. We don't need a tight end. They were in the need position. It's basic econ."

Coleman admitted the Gray could have used another tackle.

"I'm real confident in our squad, though," Coleman said. "There's nothing I'm worried about now."

It was not until after the post-draft interviews ended that Ohio State announced some roster changes. In a cornerback swap, C.J. Barnett went to Scarlet in exchange for Travis Howard. Linebacker Andrew Sweat was sent to Scarlet for Etienne Sabino. Finally, fullback Jermil Martin was moved from Gray to Scarlet.

After the draft, the usual trash talking began. Scarlet safety Anderson Russell fired the opening shot by saying his defense would hold the Gray offense to under 50 yards rushing, a notion Coleman scoffed at.

"Do you really think that's going to happen?," Coleman said. "We have Terrelle Pryor. We have Marcus Williams. We have (Brandon) Saine. Plus we have a great offensive line.

"I want to make a promise right now. If they hold us to 50 yards … I will do anything - anything - if they hold us to 50 yards."

Cordle said he might have Coleman buy him dinner following the game. He is confident in his defense.

"We're easily going to hold them (to under 50)," Cordle said. "We've got Dexter (Larimore), Doug (Worthington), Thaddeus and just look at our linebackers (Austin Spitler, Brian Rolle, Andrew Sweat, Storm Klein and Ross Homan). We've got a really good defense."

Nonetheless, Coleman said he is excited about the Gray's offense.

"We have great tight ends, great running backs and then we have the QB to really handle the whole offensive scheme," he said. "That was kind of our main focus, to just really solidifying the ends and the QB spot. We can run the ball. We can throw the ball. The possibilities are endless."

Cordle said Scarlet's strength lies in the trenches, naturally.

"It's definitely the line, and that's where it starts every game," Cordle said. "We've got a good start with the guys we got."


Buckeye Sports Top Stories