Pryor a monster talent anywhere on field
Jeannette's do-it-all quarterback accounted for five TDs in a Class AA title-game rout.
HERSHEY - After leading Jeannette to yesterday's PIAA Class AA football state title, Terrelle Pryor tried to navigate his way through a bevy of well-wishers at HersheyPark Stadium.
He didn't get very far.
Following his five-touchdown performance in the Jayhawks' 49-21 win over Dunmore, the star quarterback was in high demand.
Some sought out his autograph. Others wanted hugs. And a few just longed for an up-close glimpse of the 6-foot-6, 235-pound sensation.
Deep down inside, they all wondered what college coaches and recruiting analysts are wondering: Where will he end up in college?
"I don't even know yet," said Pryor, who has barrel loads of scholarship offers. "I'm just focusing on taking a week off. Then I will be breaking into" basketball.
For now, Penn State, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida and West Virginia are on Pryor's short list.
He scratched Tennessee yesterday morning.
Pryor's connection to the Volunteers was former Tennessee assistant head coach David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe, an offensive guru, informed Pryor yesterday morning that he had accepted the head-coaching position at Duke.
"That was my main man," Pryor said. 'I mean, I love Cutcliffe. We just got along. Once he's gone, it's done."
Whichever college program he does choose, Pryor will be a blessing to more than the football team. A five-star prospect in football and basketball, he expects to play both sports on the next level.
"Whatever happens, happens," he said of the double-duty.
Football, however, will be his area of concentration.
Blessed with great size, quickness and speed, Pryor is regarded as the nation's No. 1 football prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
In addition to having a good arm, his ability to make a move or run through tackles makes him dangerous in the open field.
Dunmore (14-2) found out just how elusive yesterday. Pryor had 10 carries for a game-high 209 yards and three touchdown runs, covering 2, 49 and 41 yards. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 83 yards, including a 14-yard scoring pass to Jordan Hall. Pryor also hauled in a 28-yard TD reception.
This season, the multi-threat became the first player in Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League history to eclipse 4,000 yards in both passing and rushing. He finished his career with 4,249 passing and 4,250 rushing.
Pryor also excels on defense and special teams. He lines up at defensive end, outside linebacker and free safety, depending on the circumstances. Pryor led Jeannette (16-0) with six solo tackles yesterday. He also punted and performed kick-off duties on special teams.
"Terrelle Pryor could probably play six or seven different positions on the next level and be an elite player at all of them," said Bob Lichtenfels, Scout.com's East and Midwest regional recruiting manager.
Lichtenfels predicts Pryor will play on Sundays in a few seasons.
"I personally think Terrelle Pryor [will be] a star in the NFL," he said. "People compare him to [Tennessee Titans quarterback] Vince Young. To me, he is much better."
At one point, Pryor had a similar projection in basketball.
Heading into his sophomore year, Scout.com listed him as one of the nation's top 10 basketball prospects for the Class of 2008. But since then, Pryor's primary focus has been football. As a result, his basketball suffered a little, and he has dropped to 42d overall.
"I think he's a full-time football player now and basketball is a hobby," said Dave Telep, Scout.com's national basketball recruiting analyst.
College fans will find out in a couple months. Pryor has taken an official visit to Ohio State. He has a visit to West Virginia scheduled for early January.
"I don't know if he is going to Penn State for a visit, because he has been there so many times," Jeannette coach Ray Reitz told Rivals.com earlier this week. "I don't know if he is going to visit or not."
After spending time in New York, Oregon coach Mike Bellotti flew to Jeanette last week to visit Pryor.
The quarterback is impressed with Oregon's spread-option offense. Pryor is thinking about taking an official visit to the campus.
Until recently, Ohio State was considered to be his favorite. But there are concerns about the Buckeyes' and Nittany Lions' run-oriented offenses.
"In recruiting, if you do it long enough, you never say never," Lichtenfels said. "No one thought Justin King and Derrick Williams would go to Penn State. . . . In the end, I think the offense at Penn State is a concern."
The one thing in Penn State's favor is that Pryor really likes defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.
"Wherever he goes, he is going to put that team in the national-title hunt for the next three or four years," Lichtenfels said of Pryor. "He's that big of an impact player."