Wednesday, June 08, 2011

If Terrelle Pryor has a legacy, it's not a good one

When Terrelle Pryor's impressive fleet of vehicles became a national punchline, there was little doubt he'd played his last game at Ohio State; the only question was whether he'd get out on his own terms (like his sweatervested partner in crime) before the school and/or NCAA disavowed him.

He answered that question -- through his attorney, of course -- on Tuesday:
"In the best interests of my teammates, I've made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at The Ohio State University," Pryor said in a statement issued by Columbus lawyer Larry James.
I like how he "made the decision to forgo his senior season," as if he really had a choice. TatGate alone got him basically a half-season suspension -- between the loaner cars, the "missing" OSU equipment and the fact that teammates were saying things like this ...
"I haven't spoken with Terrelle and I don't care to. It really sucks Coach Tress had to take the fall for a couple idiots' mistakes."
... he was done. The NCAA's 48,000-person (roughly) legal department was probably already putting together a letter that said something along the lines of "so long and good luck," except without the "good luck" part.

That said, it was only like three days ago when Pryor's godfather -- it's amazing how many "advisers" this guy has, BTW -- was saying he WOULDN'T be going pro unless “somebody done pressured his butt -- bad.”

It would appear that somebody done pressured his butt:
Terrelle Pryor, who announced through his attorney Tuesday that he would bypass his senior season at Ohio State, made thousands of dollars autographing memorabilia in 2009-10, a former friend who says he witnessed the transactions has told "Outside the Lines."
This is somehow both shocking and not even the least bit surprising given that Pryor apparently treated Columbus as his personal playground.

Remember about two weeks ago, when Jim Tressel was lawyerin' up in preparation for an epic battle with the NCAA -- and then he just up and quit right about the time SI was set to publish its not-as-juicy-as-hoped exclusive? It's spectacularly fitting that Pryor slithers off into the night in the same publicly disgraced fashion as buckets and buckets of evidence of stupidity are dumped on top of whatever his legacy would have been.

And speaking of legacies ... man, I dunno. "Overhyped" seems like a good place to start, but I don't think it was as much a matter of being overhyped as it was a matter of being misused. Put him in Gus Malzahn's offense and he'd be Cam Newton; put him in Jim Tressel's offense and he's a freakishly tall gazelle who can stiff-arm guys from 8 feet away but makes scouts laugh with his girlish arm-punts.

He went 31-5 as a starter, won two BCS games in three tries and probably would have set the school record for career wins if he weren't an idiot (exactly how many of those wins were because of him and how how many were in spite of him is debatable). He also was never close to winning a national championship and was never a legitimate Heisman contender, things that are kinda expected when you're an 11-star recruit playing QB for a national power.

Regardless, nobody will remember any of those things five or 10 years from now, and nobody will remember his presumably short-lived NFL career as a third-string quarterback, either. Pryor will be Chris Webber without the timeout, Reggie Bush without the ridiculous run against Fresno State and the piles of money. He'll be the guy we laugh about while we shake our heads -- and that's it.
. . . . .

Back in the spring of 2008, when the Rich Rodriguez era promised candy and unicorns and spread-and-shred offenses at Michigan, I edited the rosters on NCAA Football '08 so I could enjoy the virtual edition of this soon-to-be juggernaut.

At the same time, Pryor had dragged his commitment waaayyyy past Signing Day, and word on the street (and by "the street" I mean "Scout and Rivals") was that it was down to Michigan and Ohio State. I was confident, and virtual Michigan was lacking a spread-appropriate quarterback (just like real Michigan!) ... so I created freshman Terrelle Pryor and proceeded to crush fools until about six games into my season, when the real Terrelle Pryor crushed my hopes and dreams and put RichRod on the path to doom by committing to Ohio State.

I secretly wished for a long time that Pryor had gone to Michigan. Not so much anymore.

My only wish now is that I'd never seen even the pixelated Pryor in a Michigan uniform, because I'd prefer to remember just the real one for his hilarious antics, his amazing quotes and the epic, program-crippling implosion he set in motion.


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