COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State standout quarterback Terrelle Pryor has never shied away from admitting he admired professional basketball player LeBron James.
Since James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in early June to join the Miami Heat, many Ohioans have since lost that feeling of admiration toward perhaps the biggest star in the NBA.
Pryor indicated it was possible that James would be in attendance for the Ohio State-Miami game on Saturday in the Horseshoe and the Buckeye quarterback is urging Ohio State fans to treat him with respect.
"I think he is (coming) actually," Pryor said in a brief interview at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Wednesday evening."I haven't talked to him since after the Marshall game. He's a Buckeye.
"The fans, if LeBron does come just treat him with respect and respect his decision," Pryor said. "Please no name-calling or booing because that's my mentor and I have a lot respect for him and a lot of love for him."
Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey, a close friend of Pryor's, recalled sending Pryor a text message the night LeBron held his "Decision" show. Posey's text message to Pryor indicated the Buckeye signal caller was the biggest star in the state of Ohio now that James was no longer with the Cavaliers.
Pryor remembers having that conversation.
"It could be true in some (way) because Buckeye football is huge," Pryor said. "Buckeye football is huge and I found that out the past two years. I still believe we have the most powerful fans.
"Anywhere I go you hear 'O-H', and they notice me where ever I go," he continued. "I was in Florida for a little vacation, in Key West and everywhere I went, even in the air station, they said 'O-H,' and they said 'Hi, Terrelle.' We've got a big fan base, and it's very appreciated."
When James left the Cavaliers, it resulted in a big backlash from fans. While on TV after announcing his decision, James was showed clips of Cleveland fans burning his jersey.
Pryor said he was there for James at all times to stand by the NBA megastar and his decision.
"When he was down and people were burning his jersey, I just picked him up and said I'm with you 100 percent," Pryor said of his communication with LeBron. "That's my main man. He's my mentor. He's a great guy. We still keep contact."
While James is no longer playing professional sports in Ohio, Pryor remained adamant that James is still an Ohio State fan. Pryor said if James comes to the game on Saturday - though the Buckeyes are playing Miami - Pryor is sure James will still be rooting for the home-state team.