Pryor Finality

By Adam Caparell - March 18, 2008

Finally, we'll have our answer this week. Terrelle Pryor, the most hyped and heralded quarterback in the history of high school football, will make his decision on where he'll be attending school this fall. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon were Pryor's four finalists when he told the college football world on National Signing Day that he wasn't prepared to decide. But he's been down to two for some time. But which two?

No one seems to know for sure since Pryor has kept it tight-lipped throughout the process, but heading into National Signing Day in early February, it was believed that Penn State and Ohio State were the leading candidates. Now some think it's Michigan and Ohio State vying for his services.

It's clear that Michigan needs him the most. New coach Rich Rodriguez absolutely covets the athletic quarterback who would fit perfectly into his spread offense which he is currently installing with the Wolverines spring practices now underway. If he doesn't get Pryor, the Michigan quarterback situation looks bleak. Ohio State, on the other hand, has been among his favorites throughout the process and we all know Jim Tressel's recruiting prowess. Pryor could start right away at Michigan, but clearly Ohio State is the more stable program at the moment and offers him the best chance to win over the next few years. And Tressel showed that he can do well with athletic quarterbacks who can just as easily run with the ball as throw it (2006 Heisman Winner Troy Smith).

So who's it going to be? Pryor said back in February that he wasn't ready to make a decision based on the fact he hadn't been able to concentrate on the recruiting process in the middle of basketball season. Now with his basketball season over, Pryor told reporters last week - on the campus of Penn State where he helped lead his team to the Pennsylvania Class AA title Saturday - that he will definitely decide this week. He has until March 30 to officially sign with a team, but he appears ready to get it over with.

It'll be a huge weight lifted off the backs of not only Pryor, but so many who have been intricately involved in the most high-profiled recruitment in football history. One school will get the answer they're looking for. Three others will be disappointed and, from the looks of it, the best rivalry in college football will be ratcheted up yet another level when Pryor spurns either Michigan or Ohio State for the other.

Flip a coin - at best we think it's 50-50 - but if you had to pick a favorite, it'd probably be the Buckeyes. But that's just speculation, of course.

Florida: Some preliminary buzz out of Gainesville is that Mon Williams could really push Emmanuel Moody for the starting tailback position this spring. Moody, the transfer from USC, is widely expected to win the position, but Williams has the tools to be No. 1 and should be fully healed from the torn ACL that kept him out of the lineup last season.

Other candidates who could grab the job of the Gators' No. 1 rusher are Kestahn Moore, Brandon James, Chris Rainey or Jeffrey Demps, but the odds on favorite is clearly Moody, who impressed in his freshman season with the Trojans rushing for 459 yards. Williams is clearly second.

Other notable spring practices getting underway this week: Florida State. Will Bobby Bowden lay the foundation for a run at an ACC title for the first time since 2005? The quarterback job is now Drew Weatherford's and you'd think another spring under Jimbo Fisher would do wonders.

Colorado. Dan Hawkins will build on the bowl appearance and hope one of the nation's better recruiting classes will make an immediate impact. He just wishes Darrell Scott was on campus right now. The Buffaloes return 15 starters and improvement from quarterback Cody Hawkins and his decision making (17 INT last year) will be key.

USF. You'd think the Bulls wouldn't come in under the radar this year, but chances are people will sleep on them simply because of the name - and the conference. But that'll be a mistake with many key cogs returning - namely George Selvie, Matt Grothe and much of the offensive line. But what about the secondary? Two of the Big East's top corners are gone.

This week's NFL Pro Days: Boston College, Virginia, Texas, Notre Dame, Florida State, Missouri and Virginia Tech.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 09:44 AM on March 18, 2008

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