Ohio State's Pryor looks for payback this fall

April, 16, 2009
4/16/09
7:29
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Terrelle Pryor didn't identify them by name, but he had a message Thursday for USC and Penn State.

And if Ohio State somehow ends up in a bowl rematch against Texas, the Longhorns might want to listen up, too.

"There's some teams out there that are waiting for us," Pryor said, "and there's teams that we owe some stuff to. We're just going to bring it."

A Sept. 12 clash against USC at Ohio Stadium and a Nov. 7 trip to State College are undoubtedly circled and underlined on Pryor's mental calendar, but the Buckeyes' sophomore quarterback is locked in on spring practice, his first as a college player. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year insists he's a better quarterback, a smarter quarterback and a more technically sound quarterback right now.

He's throwing the ball with greater zip and trying to improve both his footwork and his throwing mechanics, which were often criticized throughout an exciting yet erratic freshman season in 2008.

"Wherever you're going with the ball, you've got to make sure your footwork and everything is smooth," Pryor said. "I'm trying to work right now on my hips, not twisting my hips when I throw. That's going to come with a lot more reps, but I got a lot better at it. ...

"You can't play this game without using your athletic ability. But also, if you've got the best athlete ever in the country, and if he's playing quarterback and if he can throw it a little bit but he doesn't really study in the study room, watching a lot of film, he won't be really successful."

Check out Pryor's full post-practice news conference here.

Pryor gets "disgusted" when he watches clips of himself from 2008, including a 13-6 home loss to Penn State, in which his fourth-quarter fumble set up Penn State's go-ahead scoring drive. He showcased his athleticism and playmaking ability on the move, but passing was an adventure and Ohio State finished 10th in the Big Ten in pass offense (150.2 ypg).

Offensive quality control coach Nick Siciliano, Ohio State's de-facto quarterbacks coach, said the Buckeyes will run Pryor less this fall than in 2008.

"We're going to throw the ball this year," Pryor said. "We've got some playmakers who need the ball and can run the ball 70 yards after the catch. I want to give them the ball. I want to feed them.

"They're hungry, too."

The same holds true for Pryor, who added 7-8 pounds during the offseason to check in at 6-foot-6, 238 pounds this spring. Despite his natural gifts, Pryor impressed Siciliano with his work ethic during the winter months.

"He doesn't expect just to show up and everything's just going to fall into place," Siciliano said. "He'll be out in the gym [Friday], or out in the indoor [facility], throwing the ball, working on his drops, working on those things. He really works hard."

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