Top QB of '08 drawing comparisons to Vince Young
Posted: Tuesday February 6, 2007 8:00PM; Updated: Tuesday February 6, 2007 9:56PM
In modern athletics, comparisons are inevitable -- if not ridiculous.
Every outstanding running back is the next Reggie Bush. Every big wide receiver is the next Calvin Johnson.
But there is one dominant figure from the last few years that no one had been compared to because of his rare physical stature and skills -- Vince Young, the former Texas quarterback and current Tennessee Titans QB that just received NFL Rookie of the Year honors.
Now, there is a high school quarterback in Pennsylvania who is conjuring up images of VY.
Jeannette, Pa., quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been compared to Young because of his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame, his ability to glide past players at top speed and his ability to simply dominate football games.
His numbers -- 1,732 yards passing, 1,676 yards rushing and 44 total touchdowns as a junior -- are very Vince-like. But the comparisons have not come from fans or recruitniks alone, the usual sources of premature hype. The comparisons come from a Jeannette football coaching staff that has watched him emerge as a great football player over the last few years.
"We actually started the comparison because it's really the only one there is when you see him," said Jeannette coach Ray Reitz. "It comes from the coaches and community, because that's who he can become. He has the potential to be the next Vince Young of college football, and we don't say that lightly."
That's heady stuff, especially for a 17-year-old who is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. But Pryor doesn't pay it any mind.
"I leave it up to people to make their own comparisons when they watch me play," he said. "It's a very nice comparison, but I haven't done anything yet. I like to watch Vince Young and Troy Smith and the quarterbacks that can move around and do things, but I don't compare myself to them."
Pryor is so good he could be the next (and first) Terrelle Pryor. He still looks skinny on his 6-foot-6 frame, he's getting faster and he's learning how to play quarterback. The same raw athletic ability also comes out in basketball, where Pryor is ranked as a national top-25 player.
"Terrelle is just learning how to be a quarterback," said Reitz. "He's more natural as a runner than as a passer right now, but that's to be expected. Terrelle loves to learn, he's always the first one out there at practice working with coach (Roy) Hall, our quarterbacks coach, on a lot of different things. There's nothing that Terrelle can't do on the field, and it's scary how good he can be."
One example of Pryor's ability sticks out to both player and coach.
"My favorite play was when we were down near the goal line, I'm not sure which game," Pryor said. "I ran to the outside and had a defender between me and the end zone," he said with exuberance. "So I just jumped over him. That was pretty cool."
Reitz thought it was a little more than cool.
"We were just shaking our heads on the sideline," he said. "That's something we've never seen before."
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