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Terrelle Pryor makes a statement

Ohio State University quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against Marshall University during the first quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio, September 2, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

What a difference a year makes. Last season, following the embarrassing loss to Purdue, many of us wondered whether it was time to bench Terrelle Pryor. As time went by following that terrible performance, we learned that Pryor really wasn’t putting in the kind of work necessary to succeed at the highest level, and he took the Purdue game for granted. Fortunately, Tressel stuck with him. He simplified the offense, and in a sense let Pryor start over.

Then, Tressel turned Pryor loose in the Rose Bowl, and we saw a preview of what Pryor could become if he continued to work on his game. During the off-season, we continued to hear reports of how Pryor had dedicated himself to improving his game and being a leader on the team. Translation – Pryor was putting in time beyond what the coaches could require of him according to NCAA rules.

On Thursday night against Marshall, we saw just how good Pryor could be. He had command of the offense and he made beautiful throws. He’s learned to step up in the pocket, and he doesn’t take off and run when he senses trouble. Sure, he’ll have to repeat this performance against tougher defenses like Miami, but Terrelle Pryor made a statement on Thursday night. He’s here to live up to his promise. He may or may not lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship, but he’s reset the bar of expectations again.

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