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Buckeyes vets impressed with Pryor

8/22/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- So, I snuck into Ohio State's practice today. Sort of.

Before heading over to the football complex for interviews, I stopped by the rotunda at the north end of Ohio Stadium. A must-see on any college football fan's pilgrimage, it features stained-glass murals of Ohio State players and flowers at the top, which, supposedly are painted maize because Michigan beat the Buckeyes on the stadium's dedication day in 1922.

I was checking out the murals when I looked down through the main tunnel to the playing field and saw cornerback Malcolm Jenkins run across. I then spotted backup quarterback Joe Bauserman. Several other visitors to the rotunda also were surprised to get a glimpse of the team practicing. One guy lamented that he had worn a blue shirt. "It's not Michigan blue, more like Detroit Lions blue," he said, perhaps fearing he'd be spotted by Jim Tressel.

After watching a few 7-on-7 plays, I finally spotted the most anticipated recruit in Ohio State history, wearing the No. 2 jersey. I saw Terrelle Pryor, watched him trot across the field and then out of my sightline.

So, the story was a bit of a letdown. Pryor's teammates have gotten a much better view of the freshman quarterback in camp, and they like what they've seen.

"He's a great athlete that wants to be great," senior wide receiver Brian Robiskie said. "With everything being thrown at him, I can only imagine what he's going through with the position that he plays. He's doing a good job listening to the coaches, listening to some of the other players. He wants to learn. He wants to get on the same page with his receivers, with his running back and with his line. You can see that."

Pryor's improved passing has been a hot topic during the preseason, and senior wideout Brian Robiskie said the freshman is further along than Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith was at the same stage in his career. Then again, that isn't saying much.

"Terrelle's got a little more touch," Robiskie said. "Anybody you compare to Troy is going to have a little more touch on it. But definitely there have been situations in which he's had to thread it in there with three or four guys around him and he does it, and then there's other situations where he has to float it over the top and he does it."