Terrelle Pryor’s journey has brought him to the Cincinnati Bengals


Terrelle Pryor hasn’t had a great NFL career. He was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 Supplemental Draft. Pryor spent three seasons in Oakland before they traded him to the Seattle Seahawks for a draft pick. His stay in Seattle was short, as he played in the preseason but was released in final roster cuts. Terrelle spent 2014 as a free agent and worked out with a few different teams hoping for a roster spot, but was never picked up. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him to a one-year contract this past January, but he was released by them earlier this week.

Pryor was brought in to Cincinnati this weekend to take part in a Bengals mini-camp and if he is impressive, will likely be signed onto the team as a backup.

The former Buckeye star is persistent with being a successful quarterback in the NFL, and who can blame him? He has not given any thought to trying any other position, such as tight end or receiver, which some people think he may be better-suited for at the professional level.

“If I can’t play quarterback, I can’t play football, I’m pretty much done,” Terrelle described.

Pryor has said that a main reason he came to the Bengals is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who was the head coach in Oakland when they drafted Terrelle.

"“I think at the end of the day, he’s in my corner because he knows me. He drafted me. He wanted me,” Pryor said. “But at the same time I have to be on the field and show coach Lewis, the boss, that I can run this offense and help him win. I can fit in along with Andy and help Andy along and the other guys who are quarterbacks here. That’s the main focus you got to show, prove and go out there and have fun.”"

Some Ohio State fans may still have a bad taste in their mouth in regards to Pryor. After basically being kicked out of Ohio State, he was told by Gene Smith to stay away from the school for five years. They want nothing to do with him due to the trouble that he brought to the program. Pryor however, has said that he doesn’t hold any grudge against the university.

In a great piece last summer by Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises, Pryor described in great detail his feelings on his association with Ohio State.

On being welcomed back around the Ohio State program:

"“I’d love to, if I’m invited or accepted, I’d love to,” he said. “I don’t want to cause any type of thing. I just want everything to be smooth. Even if I could talk to the guys about not taking things and being smart about the people you deal with, I’d love to do that one day, if the coaches are up to it or the head people at Ohio State are up to it. But that’s a couple years away.”"

He also feels that the good things he did on the field should outweigh the bad from off the field:

"“I hope so. On a personal level, as a leader, I believe I have done a lot for Ohio State. I believe I made a lot of people cheer. I made a lot of plays and I believe I deserve that (positive reception) one day,” Pryor said. “I feel like we’re all family. We’re all Buckeyes. Everywhere I walk I see Buckeye fans that scream O-H at me to this day. It’s crazy. When I walk out the door someone is from Ohio. So I have a lot of love for Ohio State and I have a lot of love for the fans. I have a love for everything that has to do with Ohio State. It’s just unfortunate, the situation that rained down on us at the end.”"

Pryor also touched on his continued relationship with former Buckeye head coach Jim Tressell:

"“Tress is still a big father figure to me, he always has been,” Pryor said. “It doesn’t matter about the (NCAA) situation; he’s still like a father figure to me. I’ve learned an awful lot from him. He’ll call me when he has time. He’s very busy now with his new job and I’m very appreciative of that, because he’s very happy and that’s all I want to see for him. The guy has taught me so much about life.“And he took a big punch, man. He’s very unselfish, and everything he’s getting he deserves. He’s having success and he’s doing what he wants. I think God had a bigger calling for him. Instead of worrying about 100 guys, he has (14,000), students now. I know he misses coaching football, maybe someday he’ll get back into it, but I know he’s enjoying his job and he loves it.”"

I honestly hope Pryor finds success. I have no idea if it will come with the Bengals, since the organization seems sold on Andy Dalton (although I can’t say that I am). He’s not the first and surely won’t be the last player to get “improper benefits” in college. Sure Pryor caused a lot of problems for Ohio State, but I look at it like this: he led us to a lot of victories in a time when we had Joe Bauserman as our other option, and he won us the Rose Bowl with a great performance. Sure the firing of Jim Tressel was bad, but hey, it brought us Urban Meyer.