For the first time since he abruptly but not unexpectedly announced that he was leaving Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor spoke publicly during a Tuesday
circus “press conference” arranged by his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Based on the immediate reaction from the vast expanses of Twitter, the ex-Buckeyes quarterback would’ve been better off eschewing the
Taking no questions from the assembled media afterwards, Pryor apologized on multiple occasions during his statement to both former OSU head coach Jim Tressel and to Buckeye Nation, although he never specifically stated what exactly he was apologizing for. It doesn’t exactly take a rocket surgeon to figure it out, though; Pryor had been immersed in a cloud of controversy for the past several months, from receiving impermissible benefits that earned him a five-game suspension to start the 2011 season to more recent allegations of nefarious vehicle purchases as well as receiving upwards of $40,000 for his signature on memorabilia and free golf junkets to a local country club.
Here is Pryor’s statement, in its entirety:
“In terms of Ohio State, I’d like to say sorry to the coaching staff, say sorry to my teammates, say sorry to all Buckeye Nation and all Buckeye fans across the country. I never meant to hurt anybody directly or indirectly with my conduct off the field, and I am truly sorry.
“In terms of coach Jim Tressel, a special shout-out — I’m sorry for what all went down. I apologize with all my heart. I love you just like a father. You taught me a lot, and I apologize for putting you in a situation and taking you out of a job at a place where you love to be. I regret the fact you’re not there any more, and I regret the fact I’m not there any more.
“In terms of Ohio State, I have nine more credits left at The Ohio State University, and I’d like to come back and graduate some time, finish my degree, and graduate as a Buckeye.
“In terms of my future, I am entering the supplemental draft, and I’m working hard every single day on the field and off the field to be a better quarterback. And also one of my goals is to be the best person I can be off the field, to be the best role model I can be off the field.
“Thank you all for coming again, and God bless you.”
Pryor has taken his fair share of beatings in the press — some of it deserved, a lot of it that should’ve been aimed at the coach he lavished praise upon — so it would be easy to pile-on the 21-year-old player for what he’s wrought and what his actions have the potential to do to the OSU football program. Especially in light of the carnival barker Pryor’s chosen to represent him in the next step of his football career.
Immediately after Pryor’s prepared statement, Rosenhaus took to the microphone and stated that he received a ringing endorsement of Pryor from the deposed Sweatervest.
“I spoke to Jim Tressel,” Rosenhaus said. “I was very moved by Jim Tressel. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a coach talk more fondly about a player than Terrelle. I was very touched by how he described his character, work ethic, his drive and his makeup.”
Akin to what it must have been like to witness, live and in person, a salesman attempting to sell the medicinal value of his snake oil to anyone within range of his voice, Rosenhaus went on to extol the virtues of his new client as a first-round pick in the NFL’s supplemental draft, if there is indeed one this year due to the CBA uncertainty.
“For anyone who questions where he is going to be drafted, I expect him to be a first-round pick in the supplemental draft,” Rosenhaus said. “This league needs quarterbacks. Are you kidding me? Middle round for this guy?”
“You talk about Cam Newton being the first pick of the draft and he deserves it? Let me tell you what, I’ll make all the comparisons all daylong.”
Yeah, about that whole first-round thing? Sorry, not buying what’s being peddled. If he’s taken before the fourth round I’d be stunned beyond belief, and it literally has nothing to do with his the off-field allegations or character questions. Rather, on the field, he’s simply not an NFL quarterback right now, and might never be.
Our guess is that a whole helluva lot of NFL teams will feel the exact same way after plowing through his game films. Then again, it only takes one team (coughcoughOaklandRaiderscoughcough) to get suckered in, so we shall see…
UPDATED 8:13 p.m. ET: Here’s video of Pryor’s press conference earlier today.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!