Terrelle Pryor is a hometown boy and for that reason we like the kid. No questions asked. He is another example of the rich heritage of Western Pennsylvania football and of course we wish him the best in his career. Playing against him is another thing altogether but you get the point. We like NFL players with ties to the Steel City.
When Pryor was up for the 2011 supplemental draft (due to his suspension and dropping out of Ohio State), Mike Tomlin approached the kid, offering to draft him as a Steeler, his hometown team. Pryor ended up declining, as this report from the Trib reveals:
“Mike said, ‘Hey, I'll draft you if you want to play here,' ” Pryor, the former Jeannette High School star, said Wednesday. “But he gave me a story about when he was down in Tampa Bay about a quarterback (Shaun King) that was there, and he ended up being in the same hometown. It was just hard for him; he ended up cutting out because of all the distractions.”
Pryor then told Tomlin it was best for him to play elsewhere, too. “I had to say no because, at a young age, I didn't want to be near home and have distractions around me,” Pryor said.
Now we know there were rumors when Pryor was the number one high school recruit in the U.S. back in 2008, he was ushered into some top schools to play wide receiver (like Notre Dame for instance) and he turned it down because he wanted to play quarterback. So he chose Ohio State (over a lot of notable schools including Penn State). Can't blame him for that. Also, Charlie Weis sucks.
So when a guy like Tomlin comes around with Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback in his prime in his back pocket, and asks you to come to Pittsburgh, it's either to be the backup or to play wideout. No one is a big fan of the wildcat around here I don't think.
Doesn't change anything about the story but it does put it in perspective. Many reasons for Terrelle not to play in Pittsburgh. Wish the game was at Heinz Field because this would obviously translate to a huge advantage. The game will be entertaining regardless. Go Steelers.