June 9, 2007

UA makes cut for nation's top prospect

The nation's No. 1 football prospect, Terrell Pryor from Pennsylvania had seen his offer list climb to close to a staggering 70 but the two-sport star (he is also a top 30 basketball prospect as rated by Rivals.com) has decided it was time to knock his list down to a manageable number this week. On Friday Pryor, 6-foot-6, 220-pounds, chose 11 lucky finalist who remain in the hunt for his services.

"I'm down to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Penn State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Michigan Sate. They are who I will focus on the rest of the year," Pryor said. "It wasn't easy. I just had to go with what I felt were the best options for me. It was time that I got my list down to a group that I could focus on and I went with the coaches who made me feel the most comfortable and offered me the best chance to succeed.

"I felt that those eleven schools had everything I was looking for and I had to cut my list down at some point. I know that I've gotten to know the coaches pretty well by texting and talking to them. Also, they all offer me a good education and the chance to play early."

Pryor indicated that he was looking for a few certain things from each school and coaching staff from this point forward.

"I'm able to focus more now on each school individually and see about their depth chart and where I fit in for the long run in their future plans. I'll be able to tell who has been honest with me so far and who hasn't," Pryor said. "I want to make sure that the school I go to is cool with me playing both sports and that they plan to use me at quarterback. I don't want to move to another position. I'm set on quarterback.

"I'm not worried about staying close to home. In fact, I want to get out and see new things and meet new people. That is what college is about. I'm planning on taking some unofficial visits and camping at a few schools this year. That would give me a good chance to work with the quarterback coach and see how we mesh."

During the evaluation period Alabama stopped by to watch Pryor practice and the Tide ended up making his initial cut.

"Coach Saban and Coach (Curt) Cignetti came through to see me. They offered me early so I knew they were interested already," Pryor said. "I like both of them. I've talked to Coach Saban on the phone and he was honest. He told me that it was a good situation for me at Alabama because I could come in and redshirt for a year and then John Parker Wilson will be gone and I would have a chance to compete for playing time. He said that all of his quarterbacks would have a chance to earn the starting job and I thought that sounded good.

"I've gotten to know coach Cig pretty well. I have a good feeling about him and so far he's been direct and honest with me."

As a junior, Pryor threw for 1,732 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 1,676 and 29 scores. In addition the two-way starter picked off 11 passes from the secondary.

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