Where will Pryor land?
Top unsigned QB to visit Michigan, Florida and Duke
Posted: Friday January 4, 2008 1:42PM; Updated: Friday January 4, 2008 3:47PM
Terrelle Pryor has never talked with Michigan freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett, but until the day Pryor announces his college decision -- and possibly thereafter -- the two will be linked in conversations about Michigan's future.
As the nation's top unsigned recruit and the No. 16 player overall in the SI/Takkle.com rankings, Pryor, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound quarterback who led Jeannette (Pa.) to a 16-0 record and the Class AA state title last month, has become a main priority for new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. On Dec. 16, the day that Rodriguez accepted the Wolverines' position, Pryor was driving to the local mall when he received a phone call from Rodriguez. "He showed me a lot of respect by saying I want you to know this before you see it on the news," says Pryor, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio on Sunday. "I immediately considered Michigan again because of his [spread] offense."
In fact, news of Rodriguez's hiring first leaked out when Pryor told SuperPrep.com to add Michigan to his list of schools because Rodriguez was the new coach in Ann Arbor.
The trickle-down effect of Rodriguez's hiring is that Mallett, a 6-7, 252-pound, drop-back, pocket passer, now finds himself in an offensive system not tailored to his strengths. "I've seen him play on television," Pryor says. "I don't know what he's going to do."
In his freshman season, Mallett saw more playing time than expected because of injuries to senior starter Chad Henne, appearing in 11 games and throwing seven touchdown passes and five interceptions. The Detroit Free Press reported Thursday that retired Michigan coach Lloyd Carr knows Mallett's decision but will leave it to the sophomore-to-be to announce it. In Friday's Free Press, Mallett's mother, Debbie, said no decision has been made. "He could be at UCLA, he could be somewhere else, he could be at Michigan," she told the paper. "But when I talked to him [Wednesday] night, he hadn't made any decisions."
Whether Mallett stays or goes, Pryor intends on taking an official visit to Ann Arbor in January. National signing day for recruits is Feb. 6, and the nation's top quarterback, who already visited Ohio State, has planned visits to Florida, Penn State and Duke this month. "I don't plan on playing at Duke, but I just want to see coach [David] Cutcliffe," says Pryor, who was recruited by Cutcliffe when he was the offensive coordinator at Tennessee before taking the Duke position. "I wish he stayed at Tennessee. They would have been among my final choices. I just want to catch up with him. He can talk quarterback real well."
Oregon, which Pryor added to his list in the last month is now off again as he says he will not take a visit to Eugene. "It's been a busy month," says Pryor, who came to San Antonio directly from his basketball team's tournament in North Carolina. "Basketball won't have any bearing on my decision."
It would appear that whether Mallett stays or goes, though, will impact whether Pryor becomes a Michigan man.