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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Ohio State's Pryor comfortable amid criticism

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State fans are still waiting for clear evidence of Terrelle Pryor's maturity on the field, but they had to like the way the sophomore quarterback handled himself off of it Wednesday night.

  Pryor
Let's be clear: Dealing with the media isn't the same as dealing with 265-pound defensive ends, but Pryor seemed much more relaxed in his session with reporters, most of whom didn't expect to see the quarterback make an appearance after Wednesday's practice.

Pryor addressed his struggles in Saturday's loss to Purdue and the comments his high school coach, Ray Reitz, made to ESPN's Joe Schad on how Ohio State should be using Pryor differently in the offense.

On the Purdue loss, in which he committed four turnovers: "That opened me up to the world and opened me up to myself and who I am as a person. I think maybe that was the best thing to happen to us last week; maybe we'll learn from it. We're having real good practices, and we're just trying to get the fans back on our side."

On Reitz's comments: "I came here to be a quarterback, and for the rest of the season, we're going to be pretty darn good. I don't know why [Reitz] would say something like that. I wouldn't trade where I'm at right now. I love the offense here, and it's just going to keep on getting better and better here."

On dealing with the criticism: "I just think I've been so tense and maybe handling things the wrong way, maybe not talking to my teammates the way I should, instead of being the leader I want to be. We just need to turn this around, and we can do it. All we need is the fans' faith and the faith in each other that we have."

Pryor certainly needs to pick up his play in games, but he certainly seemed like a different guy, a more comfortable guy, on Wednesday. He also has been getting advice from NBA star LeBron James, who certainly understands what it's like to be hyped at a young age.

It's clear Pryor will be a work in progress at Ohio State, not the overnight success many had expected from the nation's No. 1 recruit. But he seems to be taking the right steps from a maturity standpoint.