The Race for Number One: Terrelle Pryor

Jeannette's Terrelle Pryor

Four players could easily make a case for the top prospect in the country. As it is Election Week around the country, each staff member and their respective top prospect in the region, will make their case for why they should be number one. On Friday, a vote will be held for the fans to make their ultimate decision on who is the fan's choice for number one. Today we feature the top QB.

Terrelle Pryor Profile

In this industry when you see thousands of players every year, it takes a heck of a player to amaze you. The first time I saw Jeannette, Pa., quarterback Terrelle Pryor in action as a junior I just walked away in amazement and I immediately began calling my co-workers and letting them know that I had just watched the best player I had ever seen in person.

As the months passed it seemed as though everyone was seeing what I had seen as recruiting sites and media outlets began proclaiming Pryor as the best player in the nation. This was a 6-foot-6, 225-pound, basketball player we were seeing blossom into one of the nations elite football prospects. The football scholarships began to pour in for Pryor. Pryor who was once adamant about being a college basketball star quickly changed his mind and realized that he was a pretty good football player and would now try and play both sports in college.

Pryor continued to dominate the competition as a junior as he led the Jayhawks to a (14-2) record and a heart breaking defeat in the state championship game. The Jayhawks lost to Wilson Area 29-28 and have been on a mission ever since. This season, Pryor has helped his team to a (10-0) record heading into this weekends WPIAL Quarterfinals.

That leads me to my first argument for Pryor being the nation's No. 1 player. Anyone who has played the game and has stepped on the field with an elite player will tell you that the great player is also a great teammate and he will raise the level of everyone else around him. He will lead his team to greatness. In three seasons under center for the Jayhawks, Pryor has helped guide Jeannette to a (32-4) overall record.

This season, Pryor has not played in the fourth quarter of any game. He has only played into the third quarter in four of his teams ten games. The dual-threat quarterback has carried 57 times for 851 yards and 18 touchdowns. That is an average of 14.9 yards a carry. He has completed 48 of 72 passes for 1,104 yards and 13 touchdowns. Pryor is part of a destructive Jayhawks defense that beats opponents by an average of almost 50 points a game. For his career, Pryor has run for 3,347 yards and 59 touchdowns and thrown for 3,637 yards and 35 touchdowns.

Heading into his senior season the one question mark that most people had was in Pryor's mechanics. To be frank, they were just not very good. His drops were not good. His velocity was average. He did not show much ability in the pocket and his accuracy was suspect. This is where a scout has to do their homework. Personally, I have seen a number of quarterbacks with horrible mechanics excel and even make it in the NFL. The question I had was what type of character does this kid have? Does he want to become a better quarterback or is he one of these kids who already thinks he is the best and does not need to get better?

After talking to Pryor, I quickly realized the kid is a sponge and he admitted what he needed to do to get better and he began working his tail off to become a total quarterback that could do it all. To this day he is still trying to get better each and every time he steps onto the field. Pryor is a very competitive player once he laces up his cleats. Some may even say he is too confident at times, but when we asked him to give us a quote as to why he should be considered the nation's top prospect he gave us his usual humble, but assertive answer.

"I just think I am the best player," Pryor said. "I can't really say why, if I do that I think it is being cocky and that is not the way I am. I am about helping my team win games."

Pryor draws comparisons to Vince Young. (Photo by Phil Coale/Associated Press)
Pryor has drawn numerous comparisons to former Texas star and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young and rightly so. What is scary is that most of us who watched Vince Young in college figured it would be a long time before we ever saw another player who would have an impact like Young. The term "Grown man playing with boys" is very cliché, but it is very fitting when you watch Pryor play. He is so big and powerful. His throwing motion has improved greatly. He has a rocket arm, but doesn't get a chance to display it that often. He has 4.4 speed and is just so fluid when he runs. He glides across the field. Despite, being a dual-threat quarterback, Pryor will stay in the pocket and shows remarkable poise. He is more cerebral then people give him credit for. He will make his reads and find the open man. He doesn't lock on to one receiver like many high school players will do. Personally, I believe the sky is the limit for Pryor. When he gets on campus a good quarterback coach will tweak his mechanics and I firmly believe in the next four to five years will be asking who is the next Terrelle Pryor? Instead of who is the next Vince Young.

Nothing against Arthur Brown, Julio Jones or Darrell Scott, but to me this decision is a no-brainer. Terrelle Pryor is hands down the best athlete in the nation. Here are some clips of Pryor in action recently against Greensburg Central Catholic.

Terrelle Pryor Senior Game Highlights

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