Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PRYOR ANNOUNCES HIS PLAYING DAYS AT OHIO STATE ARE OVER

Terrelle Pryor (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Jim Tressel announced early last week that he would no longer be Ohio State's head football coach. On Tuesday evening, Terrelle Pryor announced that he would no longer be the Buckeyes' quarterback.

The three-year starting signal caller announced in a statement — read by his attorney Larry James — that he will forego his senior season at Ohio State.

"In the best interest of my teammates, I have made the decision to forego my senior year of football at The Ohio State University," Pryor said in the statement.

Pryor — who was 31-4 as a starter at Ohio State — had been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 regular season for receiving improper benefits.

Ohio State Director of Athletics, Gene Smith, stated that he understood the quarterback's decision to leave OSU.

"We understand Terrelle's decision and wish him well in the next phase of his life," Smith said in a statement issued by the university. "We hope he returns to The Ohio State University one day to finish his degree."

Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell also wished Pryor well on Tuesday evening.

"I was notified this evening that Terrelle has decided to pursue a professional career," Fickell said. "I wish him the best in his pursuits."

Although Fickell is of the understanding that Pryor will be entering the NFL's supplemental draft next month, James said the quarterback has yet to make a decision on what he'll do next.

"He'll take the next couple days to collect his thoughts," James said. "Right now, when you reach closure, it's very emotional."

Pryor finishes his career at Ohio State with 6,177 yards passing (fifth in school history) and 57 touchdowns (T-1st). He also rushed for 2,164 yards (5.0 avg.) and 17 TDs. He was 2-0 in BCS bowl games as a starter, including two Most Valuable Player awards.