OSU Staff To Change Around Pryor

Although Terrelle Pryor was recruited by Ohio State assistant coach Joe Daniels, he has primarily been tutored while in Columbus by Nick Siciliano. Now that Siciliano has been promoted to Pryor's position coach, take a look at how this might affect the returning starter -- and what role Daniels played in bringing Pryor to Ohio State.

Arguably the biggest question surrounding the promotion of Nick Siciliano to quarterbacks coach at Ohio State is what sort of effect it will have on returning starter Terrelle Pryor.

A native of Jeannette, Pa., Pryor was the most highly sought-after member of the class of 2008. His press conference on National Signing day was broadcast nationally, and his selection of the Buckeyes as his choice of school was viewed as one of the biggest signings in program history. When he picked OSU, Pryor cited his closeness with the coaching staff as his primary reason.

While plenty of that feeling was due to head coach Jim Tressel, no small part of it was also aimed at Joe Daniels, the man Siciliano is replacing. A fellow native of western Pennsylvania, Daniels helped lay the ground work for bringing Pryor to Columbus.

"Through the recruiting process I got to talk to Coach Daniels several times on the phone and met with him in person and saw him at some of the basketball games and stuff like that," Jeannette head coach Roy Hall told BuckeyeSports.com. "When I got the head coaching job here at Jeannette, I got a personal phone call of congratulations from Coach Daniels and Coach Tressel."

When Pryor was a junior in high school, Daniels and Tressel paid a visit to Jeannette. Hall said he can still recall seeing the two men standing in "The Garage," the team's weight room situated in a garage owned by Hall.

"I'm usually a pretty good judge of character, and he just seems like a down-to-earth type of guy, very honest and up front with you," Hall said.

During the 2008 season, Daniels spoke about his relationship with Pryor.

"He's a great guy," Daniels said. "I think we have a good relationship. He's the same as whenever we were recruiting him. He's basically the same kid. Very, very confident but a good kid, intelligent kid, has certain goals and understands that he's got to work for them."

But as Daniels has continued to battle cancer, his ability to remain on the field for long hours has diminished. The Buckeyes secured a waver from the NCAA to allow Siciliano to essentially assume Daniels' responsibilities for the last year, meaning that Pryor was been tutored by both men throughout his freshman season at OSU.

This spring, it was almost exclusively Siciliano working with the quarterbacks. After Pryor struggled with his passing game throughout the early going, he made noticeable improvement during the final week of spring football.

After the spring game, Pryor credited his maturity to Siciliano.

"Me and Coach Siciliano, we're working on leading by example and when you have to say something, you have to say it," he said. "Right now we're leading by example and that's the way I'm going to try to lead."

Siciliano was there for Pryor during his darkest moment of the 2008 season. After a late Pryor fumble led to the game-winning touchdown for visiting Penn State, the freshman was inconsolable as he walked off the field at Ohio Stadium.

Once all the other players had cleared out of the post-game interview room, a crestfallen Pryor emerged with Siciliano at his side. Offering physical and emotional support for the quarterback, Siciliano frequently reassured Pryor that the loss was not solely his fault.

"He was still a young guy at the time," Siciliano said in February. "It was only his fifth or sixth start at the time. He needed to know that people cared about him. It was a tough situation for him. He's the type of kid who puts everything on his back. I just wanted to make sure that he understood that we weren't going to give up on him because of some of that stuff. It's hard to face the media sometimes."

Hall, who was Pryor's high school quarterbacks coach before being named to replace Ray Reitz this past spring, said he has sat in on meetings run by both Daniels and Siciliano. Both men have struck him as knowledgeable, caring mentors who have worked to help develop Pryor, he said.

"Knowing Joe Daniels, I'm sure he's probably going to have his hands in it in some kind of way," he said. "I got the opportunity to meet (Siciliano) and I was pretty impressed with him myself and Terrelle was also. Believe me, Coach Tressel is not going to put somebody in charge of a position – especially the quarterback position – if he doesn't think he can handle it."

Although this is the first Division I assistant coaching job for Siciliano, help will not be far away. Should he need any assistance in tutoring OSU's quarterback of the present and the future, Siciliano will have both Daniels and Tressel – a college quarterback himself – to call upon.

"I've been very fortunate," Siciliano said during the spring. "I know sometimes you guys don't understand but I've had a chance to work with Joe Daniels and Jim Tressel, who are two of the greatest quarterback coaches in the country. I can't thank those guys enough for teaching me what they've taught."

Things might not be so different for Pryor after all.


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