One of the stipulations that allowed Ohio State’s Tattoo Five to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl was that they were to return to school the following year. Now, if the rumors are to be believed, the most famous of those players is supposedly mulling his entry into the NFL Supplemental Draft.
Terrelle Pryor, according to the National Football Post and citing an unnamed source, is given 60-40 odds of returning to school for one more season. The NFP also notes that “Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd coming out and declaring for the supplemental draft would have a direct effect on his decision.” I’m not sure why that would have such an impact on his decision, but Floyd has had his own problems and is currently suspended from the team despite avoiding suspension after meeting with the Residence Life committee at the school.
Nevertheless, Pryor’s possible jump to the NFL in the face of a five-game suspension next season has garnered a lot of skepticism. John Taylor of College Football Talk reports, “A source with knowledge of Pryor’s thinking tells CFT that while the subject of the supplemental draft had been broached by some close to the quarterback in the past, ‘if you’re going to put odds on it, there’s a 99.99-percent chance’ that he sticks to his word and returns for his senior season.” Taylor does note that “we would not be surprised by anything that Pryor does, up to and including leaving OSU early for the NFL.”
Still, I find it highly unlikely that Pryor would go back on his word in the face of so much national exposure. Whether or not it’s right that players should be prohibited from selling their own property, the incident and subsequent five-game suspension has not been good for the Buckeye Five. Leaving early via the supplemental draft would probably raise a few eyebrows in an NFL community that would like to see another year of Pryor at the collegiate level before he comes out. An exit now would likely harm his immediate career prospects more than if he stays in school—even with the five-game suspension.
I believe it’ll be a matter of when, not if, Pryor releases a statement shooting down those rumors.
Danny Hobrock, is our College Football Editor and NCAA Football On-Air Personality. Danny's writing on College Pigskin has garnered national attention and has been critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DannyHobrock