Wednesday, December 9, 2009
OSU's Pryor left good impression with Kelly
By ESPN.com staff
It's no secret that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly wanted Terrelle Pryor to run his offense.
Even now, the thought of Pryor calling signals in Kelly's zone read option spread attack seems very appealing. Not that Kelly would part with Ducks star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who executes the offense to perfection.
But when Pryor lines up opposite Kelly's Oregon squad in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi on Jan. 1 (ABC, 4:30 p.m. ET), many undoubtedly will wonder what might have been. Kelly recruited Pryor to Oregon, and the nation's No. 1 recruit had the Ducks in his final pool of teams before deciding to attend Ohio State.
"Him as an athlete, I just kind of marveled at him," Kelly said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. "People that big aren't supposed to move that fast. He's got a tremendous skill set for someone, he is that big. He's all of 6-6 and 235, 240 pounds. He's really a special, special athlete and a great competitor, and that's what attracted us to him."
Kelly never felt Oregon was extremely close to landing Pryor because the Pennsylvania prep star couldn't visit the campus. Pryor only took visits to Ohio State and Michigan because of his basketball schedule at Jeannette High School.
Had Pryor ended up in Eugene, Oregon might not have recruited Masoli, Kelly said.
Masoli is unquestionably a perfect fit in Kelly's system, while Pryor has had his ups and downs at Ohio State. But Kelly still sees many similarities in the two quarterbacks.
"They both can run, and they're both tough," Kelly said. "Great, great, great competitors, that's the thing that stands out with both those guys."