February 2, 2009

Pryor had nation's attention on NSD 2008

MORE: Counting Down to Signing Day | Announcement Watch | Expert Commit Predictions

On a normal day, Jeannette, Pa., has a population of around 10,500 people. But last February, the population swelled considerably as the town in Western Pennsylvania was the center of the college football universe.

That's because Terrelle Pryor, the nation's No. 1 player, still had not made up his mind, and there were more rumors swirling around him than both Britney Spears and Paris Hilton combined.

Would he sign with Ohio State?

What about Michigan and Oregon?

Is Penn State going to pull a shocker?

There were simply more questions than answers leading up to the final 72 hours before Signing Day arrived. And nobody was more confused than Pryor himself.

Media outlets reported Monday before Signing Day that Pryor was 80-90 percent sure he would sign and that he had eliminated Oregon. But according to Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell, Pryor had no definite plans to sign with anyone.

"He said was still 50/50 whether he'd sign or not, and Oregon is not eliminated," Farrell said. "He said it's still Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State if he signs Wednesday, and Oregon is in the mix if he waits."

But 24 hours before Signing Day, Pryor was sure he wasn't going to wait.

"I just got a text message from Pryor saying he's going to sign tomorrow for sure," Farrell said. "He said it's down to Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State and that Oregon is out. He's signing Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. EST on ESPNU."

That announcement sent media members from all over the nation scrambling to Jeannette to cover Pryor's announcement. But they were rushing to cover nothing as Pryor told Rivals.com Greg Ladky exclusively the morning of Signing Day that he was going to wait it out.
The Pryor saga would play out for another month and a half when he finally announced on March 19 that he was signing with Ohio State.

"It was just the right fit," Pryor said. "The coaches, the comfort level, the players and the signing class they had. I am very comfortable with all of it, and I became friendly with the other recruits throughout the process.

"But in the end it came down to what was right for me. And after a lot of thinking, talking and consideration, it came down to Ohio State."

It ended up being the right move for Pryor as he was a big reason why Ohio State made it to the Fiesta Bowl this season. He completed 60 percent of his passes and threw 12 touchdowns and also was the team's second-leading rusher with 631 yards and six scores.

PRYOR NOT ONLY SIGNING DAY DRAMA

• Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln defensive back T.J. Bryant had waited a long time to talk publicly about his recruitment, and on Signing Day he finally did. The Rivals100 cornerback put on a Southern California hat, shocking many - including his hometown school of Florida State. Bryant cited the depth chart as the main attraction.

"All of the coaches say you can come in and compete, but at USC I've been able to see that every year," Bryant said.

Sedrick Johnson, a 6-foot-4 200-pound wide receiver out of Arp, Texas, had been committed to Texas A&M since the summer. However, last-minute interaction with the Iowa State coaching staff left an impression. On Signing Day afternoon the Rivals250 prospect pulled a switch and signed with the Cyclones. Though he had made an official visit to Iowa State late in January, he had given no indication that the Cyclones were a serious contender heading into Signing Day.

• After making a name for himself turning kids late in the process and pulling Signing Day surprises, Urban Meyer got a little taste of his own medicine last year. The Gators lost two recruits, offensive lineman Ricky Barnum and linebacker/defensive back Ramon Buchanan, on Signing Day. Barnum enjoyed a trip up to Michigan and signed with the Wolverines. Buchanan, who had previously de-committed from Miami to commit to Florida, reversed his decision and signed with the Hurricanes.

• Something never seemed right with Michigan and Sam McGuffie. Last Signing Day the four-star running back had jitters and almost didn't sign with the Wolverines before finally inking. He was thinking long and hard about signing with Cal, and maybe he should have. McGuffie did get playing time as a true freshman, but since has decided to transfer from Michigan.

While McGuffie was wavering last year, Michigan was busy on Signing Day. All-purpose running back Michael Shaw switched his commitment from Penn State to Michigan on Signing Day and would join his teammates Brandon Moore and previous Purdue commit Roy Roundtree in Ann Arbor.




 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.