Exit Terrell Pryor, Stage Left

The OSU star gives in to the inevitable.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Like rats leaving a sinking ship, the changes to the Ohio State Football team continues to mount. The latest 'rat' to leave the Titanic…er, Buckeyes, is the one that sank the ship himself, Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who was already to miss the first five games of next season due to his involvement in NCAA violations, has decided to forego his senior season and more than likely enter the NFL's Supplemental Draft.

"In the best interests of my teammates, I've made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at The Ohio State University," Pryor said in a statement issued by Columbus lawyer Larry James.

Pryor's decision comes amid speculation about the extent of his violations and further NCAA probes into Ohio State and was about the only available option to the young signal caller. With the NCAA almost sure to find further violations that would shed Pryor and the organization in an unfriendly light, his leaving was a forgone conclusion and was only a matter of time.

"He did not want to be a a distraction to his teammates," James said of Pryor. "This is something he came to consider after much thought."

The school issued statements after Pryor's announcement saying thanks and wishing him the best, the usual stuff, but you have to know they are inwardly breathing a sigh of relief that at least one potential distraction is out of their hair.

"We understand Terrelle's decision and wish him well in this next phase of his life," Ohio State's athletic director, Gene Smith  said. "We hope he returns to The Ohio State University one day to finish his degree."

A highly touted prospect coming out of high school, Pryor never quite materialized into the player that the Buckeyes expected him to be. He compiled an impressive enough record as a starter, 31-4, but there was just that 'it' factor that was lacking from him. In the next level, you can expect that Pryor will have to change to either a wideout or a tight end to make any impact with a team as his QB skills leave a lot to be desired.

"Terrelle can get out of the spotlight and just play football," Pryor's high school coach, Ray Reitz, said . "The sad part is, as a player, he was tremendous. It's just that all this will be a part of his legacy. It's a shame. I hope he gets a shot at quarterback in the NFL so he can prove people wrong. I think NFL teams want to win so I don't think they'll hold this too much against him."

With Tressel, and now Pryor gone from Ohio State, the future looks both bleak and scary for the Buckeyes but for all of that, one thing is certain, the die-hard OSU fans are in it for the long haul.

Go Bucks.

Photo Courtesy of:  ASSOCIATED PRESS