PITTSBURGH -- Oregon was too far away. Penn State was too rural. Michigan was a close second.
Terrelle Pryor, the highly touted western Pennsylvania prep quarterback, announced Wednesday that he will play for Ohio State.
The 6-foot-6, two-sport star -- flanked by his parents, two younger siblings and some of his coaches -- made the announcement on the auditorium stage at Jeannette Senior High School near Pittsburgh, where Pryor had one of the greatest prep careers in state history.
"If everyone's here," Pryor said to start the news conference, "University of Ohio State." He then unzipped his windbreaker to reveal an Ohio State T-shirt and donned an OSU hat. His parents, Craig and Thomasina, also revealed Ohio State shirts.
Pryor, considered by many scouts to be the top-rated unsigned high school recruit in the country, said he couldn't go wrong with any of the four schools he considered.
But he said the car trip for his family to games in Columbus, Ohio, is shorter than the flights they would have to take to Oregon. Penn State was too "countryside." And despite a last-minute push by new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, Pryor decided Ohio State is best for him, even though senior Todd Boeckman is the entrenched starter and Pryor felt he would have a chance to start as a freshman at Michigan.
"I can learn from a senior," Pryor said, "and whenever I can get in on some plays, I can make something happen."
Pryor said he didn't make a final choice until Wednesday morning.
When he told Jim Tressel, the coach said, "Welcome to the family."
As for his final call with Rodriguez: "He was still recruiting me, giving me lines," Pryor said. "Coach Rod did his job. He's going to be a great coach - he is a great coach. He'll make stuff happen (at Michigan)."
Pryor called a Feb. 6 news conference to announce his choice, then said he wasn't sure.
Tressel said he was impressed by that, given that Pryor was trying to help his high school basketball team to a state title and was mulling conflicting advice from friends and family.
Tressel said Pryor felt like "there's a whole bunch of people that are very important in my life who think I should give this some more thought. He respected them and he loves them. So I think he's grossly misunderstood."