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This was posted at my blog @ http://nickthegreekblog.wordpress.com:
If you haven’t seen highlights of Terrelle Pryor playing football, just search YouTube. I have, and let me tell you the hype seems to be accurate. Pryor doesn’t seem to have the same level of fanfare as last year’s Rivals #1, Jimmy Clausen. Clausen was the youngest of a trio of solid QB brothers (joining Rick and Casey). Some say he is destined to become better. I don’t remember enough about ‘06 #1 Percy Harvin’s decision or much about ‘05 #1 Derrick Williams decisions. Looking back at those two, Williams had an amazing freshman year but has been lackluster since. Harvin seemed to breakout this year as sophomore and could be a Heisman contender this year. Clausen was hurt and had a horrible O-Line so we don’t know what his deal will be. But back to Pryor.
The Vince Young comparisons seem fair. Pryor was a lot bigger than I expected to be and seemed like a much better passer than you would expect an 18-year old who is that big to be. The consensus seems to be he is more “polished” at this age than Young was, but as Brian from mgoblog eloquently put it, Young improved about 1,000x at Texas. One thing about Young that a lot of people take for granted, is that he redshirted his first year (how often does the #1 recruit do that?), then only started 7 games as a redshirt Freshman. Even then it wasn’t until the end of his 3rd year that he really broke out (see the Michigan Rose Bowl as what I consider his breakout game). The rest is history.
Pryor’s situation will likely be different. If he goes to Michigan he will start from day 1. He will take his lumps and learn on the job. The college game is obviously different, but this doesn’t often work in the pros. The thing is, Michigan will be learning a new offense and have nothing to lose. If he goes to Ohio St. he won’t start in ‘08 because Todd Boeckman will be using his experience to lead a MNC contender. In all likelihood Pryor would own the job in ‘09 after a year as backup (Antonio Henton is his best competition and it’s not a lot). We have heard Florida, LSU, Oregon and Penn St. are still in the mix.
Obviously Florida means he has at least one year to wait behind Tim Tebow. My gut says Tebow comes back in ‘09. Even so, they recruited two solid guys in ‘07, Cameron Newton and John Brantley. Newton will be a sophomore in ‘08, Brantley a redshirt freshman. Meaning unlike UM and OSU, if he goes to Florida he will have some serious competition in ‘09, even if Tebow leaves.
At LSU, he would spend at least one year behind Ryan Perrilloux who has bided his time and earned his chance. He has two years of eligibility left but might be cocky enough to test the pros next year. If he’s smart he stays through ‘09. LSU has picked up 4-star QBs in both ‘07 and ‘08 so there would be some competition here, but Pryor still would be the front-runner as soon as Perrilloux left. Although it’s worth nothing that Perrilloux doesn’t own the job as tightly as Boeckman or Tebow so I guess Pryor could work his way in somehow.
Oregon has redshirt sophomore Jason Roper has the likely QB in ‘08. He’s nothing to get crazy about, and they do have a solid 4-star dual threat, Darron Thomas, coming in this year. He is likely the future without Pryor. Pryor wouldn’t be handed the job here but could probably come in and win it, if nothing else by midseason. The downside to Oregon is that they don’t have the same level of talent Michigan does, and they play in a tougher conference.
Penn St. will have a new starter at QB in ‘08, likely redshirt junior Daryll Clark is the guy. Redshirt sophomore Pat Devlin is the only other likely option. Pryor would have a shot in ‘08, but would have a very solid chance in ‘09 to be the starter.
So realistically LSU and Florida seem out due to lack of playing time. Oregon is a longshot because of the talent level and distance. So it’s really the three Big Ten schools.