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Pryor came to Ohio State in March 2008, from Jeannette, Pa., as the most acclaimed high school quarterback prospect in the country. His career will be remembered in his adoptive home state for his three victories in as many tries against archrival Michigan, and victories in the Rose and Sugar bowls.
But it will also be remembered for a series of missteps and controversies that seemed to follow the 6-foot-6, 233-pound quarterback.
On the field, Pryor was a winner. He had a 31-4 record as a starter (starting one bowl game as a wide receiver), rushed for an Ohio State-record for a quarterback 2,164 yards and passed for 6,177 yards. He was often at his best in big games, holding the school record with seven games with at least 300 yards of total offense and 22 games with at least 200.
But there were other moments that kept him from becoming a fan favorite. He wore "Vick" on an eyeblack patch in honor of Michael Vick in 2009, after the NFL quarterback had been involved in a dogfighting operation. Pryor then infuriated many by saying, "Not everybody's the perfect person in the world. I mean, everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance."
After Wisconsin beat the Buckeyes in October, handing them their only loss last season, Pryor petulantly said that Ohio State could beat the Badgers nine out of 10 times.
He also has called former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit "a fake Buckeye" for questioning Pryor's emotional sideline behavior.
Few NFL draft experts consider Pryor to be a ready-for-the-NFL quarterback. With his speed and size, he might be a better fit as a big wide receiver in the mold of Plaxico Burress.
Despite the NFL labor problems, a supplemental draft could still be held this summer, although no one has yet committed to entering it. Former Ohio State star Cris Carter went that route after he lost his senior season due to NCAA infractions involving an agent and he went on to a stellar NFL career.
The Buckeyes have several choices to take Pryor's place. The most experienced player is fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman, with Kenny Guiton, Taylor Graham and talented freshman Braxton Miller competing for the job.
All four got plenty of snaps in spring practice while Pryor missed all the April workouts after having surgery on his right ankle in January. So, Ohio State has already had some time to imagine what its offense will be like without Pryor.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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