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February 7, 2008

What's next for Terrelle Pryor?

Pryor talks about decision | NCAA D-I recruiting calendar | Rivals.com Recruiting Glossary

The biggest news on National Signing Day was not necessarily who signed and with what program.

Julio Jones to Alabama? Very compelling.

Darrell Scott to Colorado over Texas? A huge get for the Buffs, no doubt.

But Signing Day was more about who didn't sign with what program than anything else.

So, where do we go from here with the Terrelle Pryor saga?

If you've been living under a rock, Pryor is the nation's No. 1 high school football player. He is a 6-foot-6, 235-pound quarterback who is often compared to Vince Young.

On Tuesday afternoon, Pryor was set to sign with Ohio State and try to help Jim Tressel get the Buckeyes over the national championship hump. However, everything changed Tuesday night.

After a lengthy conversation with his father Craig, Pryor decided to delay putting his signature on any letter on Wednesday. Craig Pryor wanted his son to take an official visit to Penn State and give them another look before making his decision. So what happens next, and how does this affect the schools involved?

What now?

Unless Pryor decides to take a visit to Oregon - something he mentioned as a possibility, but still remains a long shot - then Penn State will have the most contact with Pryor before the signing deadline of April 1.

Each school can call Pryor once per week, but they cannot leave campus to visit Pryor at school, home or anywhere else. However, if he takes an official visit to Penn State, the Nittany Lions coaches will have his full attention for 48 hours. That extra time will be valuable and must be used effectively to convince Pryor that Penn State can run an offense that fits his style.

Ohio State still has to be considered the team to beat. Pryor has built a strong bond with numerous Ohio State signees, he likes the coaching staff and the area, and he knows he'd be enrolling in Columbus with three of the top offensive linemen in the country Mike Adams, J.B. Shugarts and Michael Brewster. Pryor has also become close with wide receiver DeVier Posey - who would likely be his main target - and top tight end Jake Stoneburner.

However, Penn State has Pryor's father in their corner, and clearly Terrelle has a great respect for his dad. This isn't like the Vidal Hazelton situation a few years ago where Vidal's father, Dexter, refused to sign Vidal's letter because he felt Southern California wasn't a good fit for his son. Hazelton took another visit to Penn State after Letter of Intent Day back in February 2006, but did so begrudgingly. He ended up signing with USC in the end.

Open mind

Pryor doesn't seem to be upset at the delay in his decision, and seems to be open-minded when it comes to giving Penn State another look.

Unlike Hazelton, Pryor wasn't 100 percent set on his decision to sign with his top school on Signing Day. That's very good news for Penn State, and keeps Oregon on life support in this race.

The big loser in this decision appears to be Michigan, the team that would have finished second to Ohio State on Wednesday. The Wolverines don't have anyone pushing for them at this point.

Pryor hopes to take his official visit to Penn State as soon as he can, but a date hasn't been set yet. He'll determine if he'll take a visit to Oregon soon as well.

Ohio State has to hope that he'll take an unofficial visit to Columbus as well to give them equal face time, but that might not happen. The same can be said for Michigan, although Ann Arbor is farther away than Columbus.

Regardless, we'll all know where the nation's top player will end up soon enough.

This recruiting battle has become a lot more interesting.



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