November 21, 2007
Pryor puts up big numbers on Aliquippa
Jeannette (Pa.) High quarterback Terrelle Pryor has read the message-board posts. He has heard the criticisms.
At times it gets to him; at other times he just shrugs it off. But when he hears that he doesn't deserve to be the No. 1 player in the country as ranked by Rivals.com, he uses it as motivation.
Unfortunately for Aliquippa (Pa.) High this past weekend, Pryor took it out on the Quips.
"I hear everything, but I don't let it bother me," said Pryor, a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder. "What do they want from me more than what I'm doing? This is the first game of the season where I've really had a chance to play a full game, and I think I had my best game ever. But we have so much talent on this team that it's not about me. This is a very good team."
While it's nice of Pryor to mention his talented teammates, the show he put on in Jeannette's 70-48 win against Aliquippa was remarkable. Pryor totaled 421 yards of offense and accounted for seven touchdowns. He rushed for 331 yards and five scores and threw for 90 more yards and two additional touchdowns.
Pryor scored on runs of 1, 44, 67, 54 and 48 yards and threw touchdown passes of 8 and 17 yards. Despite the gaudy numbers, he felt he could have done more.
"I had a touchdown called back as well," he said. "I kind of wish we threw the ball a little bit more, but the run was working. Aliquippa is a fast team, the fastest we've played this year, but I like that. You can only play your best when you play against teams that will challenge you.
"This year has been frustrating because I haven't played much in the second half of games, but this one was a full game and I was able to show what I can do."
Pryor, who continues to list Ohio State, West Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Penn State and Texas as his teams of interest, now is focused on winning it all.
"We have Beaver Falls at Heinz Field this weekend and that's for it all, so that's where my focus is," he said. "After that, and there's no guarantee we win that game because they are a good team, then I can focus on recruiting."
Pryor already has taken an official visit to Ohio State and plans to take official visits to Florida and West Virginia, as well, though he hasn't set a date for either. He has been to Penn State numerous times on unofficial visits and he likes the coaches at Tennessee. Texas is most likely to get cut off the list after his season is over for many reasons, one of which is the inevitable comparison to a certain former Longhorns star.
"I'm already hearing the Vince Young stuff again after this game," he said. "I think he's a great player, but I don't want to be compared to anyone. I want to just be me and make my own name. That's one of the reasons I haven't been as interested in Texas as some other schools. I don't think I want to put myself in a situation like that."
Despite the loss, Aliquippa four-star tight end Jonathan Baldwin also was outstanding. Baldwin caught three touchdown passes and had 180 yards in receptions. He caught two 39-yarders and a 67-yarder.
"He's a good player; he's big and fast," said Pryor, who also caused two fumbles while playing on defense. "We should have held him down a bit better, but I give him credit - he's good."
Baldwin is the No. 3 tight end in the country and No. 34 player overall. He has narrowed his list to Pitt, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida, Michigan and USC.
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