Yesterday’s not-too-surprising announcement that Terrelle Pryor’s career at Ohio State was over instantly led me to two thoughts: 1) Well, that’s good news for the Buckeyes – he doesn’t have to talk to the NCAA and 2) How big of a bust was this guy? You can read eulogies to Pryor’s career in the Plain Dealer, News Herald, the Daily, and Dispatch.
I’ll attempt to explore whether or not he was a bust. Here is how Rivals ranked the Top 10 players in the Class of 2008 (below is their current status)
#1 Terrelle Pryor, QB, Jeannette, PA, Jeannette High School ….. Ohio St.
– Impressive 31-4 record, beat Michigan three times, was MVP in two bowl wins
#2 DaQuan Bowers, DE, Bamberg, SC, Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School ….. Clemson
– Was the 51st pick in the 2011 NFL draft (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
#3 Mike Adams, OL, Dublin, OH, Coffman High School ….. Ohio St.
– Has had a rough career – an arrest for drug paraphernalia and he’s part of the group that is suspended for the first five games of next season
#4 Julio Jones, WR, Foley, AL, Foley High School ….. Alabama
– Was the 6th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft (Atlanta Falcons)
#5 Patrick Johnson, DB, Pompano Beach, FL, Blanche Ely High School ….. LSU
– Changed his last name to Peterson; was the 5th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft (Arizona Cardinals)
#6 Darrell Scott, RB, Ventura, CA, St. Bonaventure High School ….. Colorado
– The consensus No. 1 RB in the class of 2008 was a bust at Colorado, so he transferred to South Florida
#7 Marcus Forston, DT, Miami, FL, Northwestern High School ….. Miami (FL)
– Played and was effective as a freshman, but he missed the entire 2009 season due to an ankle injury. He bounced back last year, and will be a junior next season
#8 Baker Steinkuhler, OL, Lincoln, NE, Lincoln Southwest High School ….. Nebraska
– Impressive defensive lineman ended last season on a bad note – he was suspended for Nebraska’s bowl game due to a DUI
#9 A.J. Green, WR, Summerville, SC, Summerville High School ….. Georgia
– Was the 4th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft (Cincinnati Bengals)
#10 Will Hill, ATH, Jersey City, NJ, St. Peter’s Prep School ….. Florida
– Entered the NFL draft a year early and was not selected. Was recently arrested
It’s not every year that Rivals ranks a QB No. 1 coming out of high school. So I just looked at the highest-rated QB coming out of high school since 2002:
Matt Barkley, 5th overall in 2009 (great as a freshman, good as a sophomore, and probably leaves after this year and goes in the Top 20 in the draft)
Jimmy Clausen, 1st overall in 2007 (currently battling for QB1 spot in Carolina; was drafted 48th overall in 2010 after a good but not great career at Notre Dame)
Matt Stafford, 6th overall in 2006 (very good career at Georgia; 1st overall pick in 2008 of the Lions but has battled injuries)
Mark Sanchez, 7th overall in 2005 (decent, though short career at USC; 1st round draft pick of the Jets in 2009 and has been to the AFC title game two years in a row)
Rhett Bomar, 4th overall in 2004 (college career never got off the ground at Oklahoma, transferred to Sam Houston State, drafted in the 5th round in 2009 by the Giants)
Kyle Wright, 5th overall in 2003 (college career never amount to anything; wasn’t drafted)
Vince Young, 1st overall 2002 (currently an NFL free agent; uneven career looks headed for the toilet after a brilliant college career at Texas)
Because Pryor won so many games – including two bowl games – he probably won’t go down as a massive bust. But when you add in the hype surrounding his recruitment, and the fact that he will be forever linked to getting Jim Tressel fired (others were too; he’s just the most prominent guy), and that Ohio State could get hit hard by the NCAA, I think his college career has got to be labeled a bust.