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March 19, 2008Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the nation's No. 1 high school football player, has finally made his college choice.
When Signing Day arrived in February, the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder from Jeannette, Pa., wasn't ready to make his decision.
As time progressed, he knew he was headed to the Big Ten. However, he had yet to decide between Ohio State and Michigan. After much research and discussion, Pryor announced on Wednesday he's going to be a Buckeye.
"It was just the right fit," Pryor told Rivals.com late Tuesday night. "The coaches, the comfort level, the players and the signing class they had. I am very comfortable with all of it, and I became friendly with the other recruits throughout the process.
"But in the end it came down to what was right for me. And after a lot of thinking, talking and consideration, it came down to Ohio State."
Pryor was concerned about early playing time at Ohio State because the Buckeyes boast all-conference quarterback Todd Boeckman, but the overall fit in Columbus just felt better.
"I can't see myself sitting and not playing, that's the tough part," Pryor said. "I certainly don't want to redshirt. But being brought along a little slowly might be the best thing for me in the long run, and I have to look at that. I'm not sure if being thrown to the wolves and starting from Day One would be best for me. I know college is a big step up and there's a lot to learn."
There has been talk of Pryor being utilized like Tim Tebow was during his freshman year at Florida.
"If that happens, then that's what happens," he said. "I'm going in to compete as hard as I can and we'll see where I fit in. I trust the coaches to use me the best way they can."
Michigan's zone-read offense under Rich Rodriguez was very tempting to Pryor, especially since Rodriguez has had so much success with it at West Virginia. Without Pryor, it doesn't appear the Wolverines have the type of quarterback necessary to run Rodriguez's scheme effectively.
"Michigan is a great school and it was a tough decision," Pryor said. "I like the coaches there. I've known them since they were at West Virginia. I seriously considered them right up until the end, but Ohio State was where I felt it."
Ohio State hasn't typically run a zone-read offense, which was a concern for Pryor. However, after further research, he feels he'll be a better quarterback in the end because of it.
"Troy Smith ran some zone-read stuff early in his career, and then he developed into a pocket passer and did a lot of stuff out of the shotgun," Pryor said. "He became a better quarterback - not just an athlete - by the time he was done. I feel I can do the same. Both schools said they would utilize my athletic ability in the offense, but I think I can be more well-rounded at Ohio State."
Pryor is happy to be done with the decision.
"This has been very tough," he said. "I didn't really like the attention, and it got worse after I didn't decide. But I had to do what was right for me and my family. I'm excited about the decision."