Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has informed new Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell that he will be leaving the Buckeyes and through his attorney, Larry James of Crabb, Brown and James LLP of Columbus, has confirmed the decision through the media, as well.
The story, which was originally broken by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, isn't a surprise to many considering the hot water Pryor has found himself in following investigations by Ohio State and the NCAA due to Pryor accepting inappropriate benefits from a local tattoo parlor and automobile dealership.
As I reported last weekend, however, it does come as a surprise to some in the NFL, as two high level sources with different teams questioned Pryor's readiness to make the jump to the NFL.
Pryor's statement, read by James over the telephone, included:
"In the best interests of my teammates, I have made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at the Ohio State University."
In a typical year, Pryor's next step would be to simply apply to the NFL for special admission into the supplemental draft, typically held each July.
With the lockout, however, this year has been anything but typical and despite the fact that my colleague Len Pasquarelli of The Sports XChange reported that the supplemental draft is covered by the prior CBA, some question if the NFL will indeed be able to conduct the special draft next month if a new deal isn't agreed to.
Regardless of when Pryor is made eligible for drafting, he could be waiting for awhile.
As I noted in my article on Pryor's possible jump into the supplemental draft, the Buckeye quarterback isn't viewed as highly by these two NFL sources as some might believe based on the amount of hype he's received since signing with Ohio State. One source characterized Pryor as a "mid-round pick at best" and another described him as a "basketball player playing football."
It only takes one team to fall in love with a player, but contacting other sources throughout the league since today's story broke, the consensus seems to be that Pryor has a better chance of going undrafted than he does of being the first round pick many prematurely billed him as when he signed with Ohio State.