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November 11, 2010

Pryor set to return for senior year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - It has been said before by standout players at Ohio State in the past, but probably not as bluntly as Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor said it Wednesday evening.

Just like former running back Beanie Wells said, Pryor affirmed this week that he has plans to come back for his senior season. Just like when Wells said it - and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez for that matter - Pryor is in the midst of his junior season.

But to Pryor, his plan to return to Ohio State for a fourth season is all but a certainty. For Wells and Gonzalez, both left for the NFL with eligibility at Ohio State still in tact.

"I don't think anything could change it," Pryor said when asked what could change his mind when it comes to staying at Ohio State for his senior season. "I think my mind's pretty set. I enjoy being here. I want to grow up even more."

Despite the fact that Pryor is on track to have one of the most productive seasons for an Ohio State quarterback in program history, the junior has always spoken about the desire to want to leave a mark at Ohio State.

With national title hopes seemingly out of the picture and his shot at the Heisman Trophy dwindling as the weeks move forward, the things Pryor wanted to accomplish most at Ohio State could be falling by the wayside.

For Pryor, coming back as a senior would give him another opportunity to accomplish something he had envisioned for himself since coming to Ohio State - to become a legend.

"I'm a Buckeye until I break all the records," Pryor said. "I want to leave a legacy here, maybe someday get my jersey hung up. That's one of my goals as well here."

There is no question, however, that things change when draft projections come out. Given Pryor is one of the premier athletes in college football, he could see his name high on mock drafts and NFL grades.

With the potential to earn a substantial amount of money, youngsters typically tend to waffle with their decision to return to the school for another season. Pryor, however, said money isn't important to him right now.

"I just want to get my degree and finish off strong," Pryor said, "and maybe have an even better year next year and maybe have no losses. I love being here. I'm not worried about money and stuff like that.

"My mom works a little bit and I can get some of her money and use the money I get here (from Ohio State scholarship money). I can suffer another year, I just want to gain more knowledge as a human being before leave."

Back to his first love?

Pryor has never hid his love for basketball and it became a craze around Ohio State this week when he tweeted "I want to play basketball again" and had an exchange with senior basketball player David Lighty implying he had an itch to get back on the court.

The quarterback was asked on Wednesday how much he wanted to play basketball and he nonchalantly brushed the topic off to the side.

"We're talking football," Pryor responded. "We can talk about that on a later day."

Pryor was a dual-sport standout in high school and potentially could have devoted himself to becoming a gifted college basketball player. With his speed burst, it is without question he could pose as a weapon for some squads.

However, Pryor stands only 6-foot-6 and while that is an asset as a quarterback, wings of that height are quite often in major college basketball. Having sat out of organized basketball for three years now, Pryor would have a lot of catching up to do.

"I was just throwing that out there," Pryor said as he finished talking with reporters. "I think all the time."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.



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