It’s been just a few hours but based upon the facebook and twitter feeds of friends, family, players and other fans the overwhelming sentiment in Buckeye Nation is good riddance Terrelle. To be honest I feel the same. Just look at my preview of Braxton Miller and you can see what I’m hoping for. While it is by no means a shock that this was going to happen, either by TP stepping aside himself or by the NCAA hitting him with a longer suspension, what is shocking is the journey Pryor took to get here.
I really debated with myself for a while how I was going to write this column. I could think of possibly a dozen different angles to attack it. So I decided to start running through the last four years in which Pryor had been part of the Ohio State narrative. In March of 2008 the long awaited decision from Pryor came and he put on the Block O hat signifying he was coming to Columbus. It was a decision that was postponed multiple times, which probably should have been a sign, but instead it was greeted with praise, adulation and a world of promise. He was almost instantly considered a Heisman favorite locally and the question wasn’t IF a National Championship was coming, but whether or not he would stick around long enough to possibly win two. He shared duties during his Freshman year and the noise of greatness continued. The biggest downside in his game was he wasn’t a great passer, but people insisted it would come with time. As his Sophomore season came to a close and Junior year was around the corner fans had come to terms with the fact that the talent was there, everyone was just wondering when we would see it fully unleashed. He was a college superstar with enormous promise, we were just waiting to see him want it as much as we wanted to see it. Then as his Junior year was coming to a close the scouts criticisms that he couldn’t play QB in the NFL were almost deafening. However for the Buckeye faithful that wasn’t a problem. We knew we had one of the rare college athletes of the last decade. Sure his game wasn’t complete and there were obvious flaws, but it was good enough to give us a shot at titles.
For three years and six months Buckeye fans scrutinized his skills and debated his place in Buckeye lore as one of the best to ever put on the scarlet and grey. And we weren’t wrong. Statistically speaking there aren’t many players that have come through Columbus that have a résumé that comes close to what he was able to accomplish. But now we’re here, promise unfulfilled and hopes fleeting. The last 6-7 months we have found out that Pryor was exactly what we should have known he was. An immature kid, who given the opportunity was going to take the extra benefit, was going to make bad decisions off the field that left he and his team in jeopardy.