Sunday, June 12, 2011

Worth The Trouble?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I have never seen an amateur athlete stir up this much controversy before he ever reached the pros more than former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor, who will turn 22 years-old on June 20.

During his stormy tenure at Ohio State (2008-2010), his off the field actions led to the departure of a Head Coach Jim Tressel, who was 9-1 against the Michigan Wolverines, led the Buckeyes a National Championship in 2002, was 106-22 and 66-14 in the Big 10. Tressel's career record is 241-79-2.

As I look back, it's hard to believe that Pryor was very close to signing with the Michigan Wolverines and playing for former U-M Coach Rich Rodriguez. But he took his talents to Columbus instead of Ann Arbor and the Wolverines have struggled the past few years.

Are Wolverines fans upset that they didn't land Pryor now? Their consolation prize was a youngster out of Deerfield Beach, Florida., named Denard Robinson. All Robinson is doing is breaking longstanding Wolverines rushing and other offensive records.

But now the question remains? Is Pryor going to be more trouble than he's worth in the NFL?

I don't care that he has 2,164 rushing yards, 6,177 passing yards, 57 touchdown passes and two BCS Bowl Game MVP Awards. I don't care that he was 31-4 as a starter for the Buckeyes. Neither will the experienced NFL linebackers, defensive ends and linemen that are looking to knock his head off every week. These MEN are much bigger and stronger and will hammer and punish his 6-6, 233 pound frame.

If they're former Buckeyes, they'll be mad because Ohio State is going to be handed some severe penalties because he traded autographs and memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos. The NCAA is looking into the cars Pryor has owned or was loaned while at Ohio State.

I understand him leaving knowing that he would have served his five game suspension if Tressel had remained the coach.

While I do believe there will be an NFL season, there are more questions that remain?

1. Is he a franchise quarterback? I'm not convinced right now but go ahead and prove me wrong.

2. Would the CFL have been a better move and use that league as a stepping stone to get to the NFL? If you ask Warren Moon and Doug Flutie, they'll say YES! The wider field will give Pryor plenty of room to run.

3. Could Pryor gain valuable coaching from Jim Fassel or Dennis Green in the UFL? These guys are excellent offensive minds and have done real well in the NFL. But Pryor has such a big ego that he probably figures he's too big for this young league and all he'd do is be brought there to sell tickets.

But in the end, is Pryor "Worth The Trouble?"

This question has so many different answers. I have a feeling they'll be saying NO at Ohio State pretty soon since he didn't deliver a National Championship and their coach is gone.

In the NFL, they'll probably say YES because despite all of his baggage, his price tag will be much lower and he'll likely play quarterback and have some offensive packages to use his athleticism at wide receiver therefore, his explosiveness could cause major headaches for defensive coaches.

At Michigan, hindsight will tell you NO because of Robinson and all of the NCAA violations they avoided.

I'll be curious to see how all of this plays out for both Pryor and Ohio State. But I have a feeling there will be some tough times ahead at Ohio State as the NCAA is about to sack the Buckeyes for all of the wrong reasons.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

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