Newest Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor’s switch from quarterback to wide receiver is common knowledge. His decision to choose football over basketball is perhaps less well known.
(Or maybe I just didn’t know about it. Or maybe I just forgot. Eight years is a long time.)
If you, too, had forgotten that Pryor was a serious high school basketball star, he was there to remind you about it during a Wednesday appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show.” Pryor told Patrick that he had about 110 scholarship offers to play college basketball, although he still sounded disappointed that he didn’t get an offer from Duke. And prep scouting services, he said, often ranked him in the top 30 or so in the class of 2008.
“I was above Klay Thompson, and like two spots behind a few other guys that are in the league still to this day,” Pryor said. “So I could play a little bit.”
Fact check: zero Pinocchios.
In ESPN’s top 100 rankings for the class of 2008, Pryor shows up at No. 39. That’s one spot behind Iman Shumpert, who is still in the league, and three spots behind Draymond Green, who is also still in the league. (He was two spots behind Rashanti Harris, who failed to qualify for college academically and played professionally overseas.)
On the other hand, Pryor was ranked No. 64 by Scout, which was behind Thompson (45) and Shumpert (18) but ahead of Green (86).
If you also forgot some of the grittier details, Pryor was named to the Associated Press boys basketball all-state team in Pennsylvania after leading Jeannette High to the Class AA state title. He was a four-year starter for a team that went 98-18. He scored more than 2,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds. He had 39 points, 24 rebounds and 10 blocks in a regional championship game. He went for 24, eight rebounds and five blocks in the state title game. He was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s male athlete of the year twice (LaVar Arrington only won it once), the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s male athlete of the year three times, and was named the national male athlete of the year by Sports Illustrated and Max Preps.
“Pryor joined — and perhaps passed — such Western Pennsylvania legends as Tony Dorsett, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Tom Clements,” that site wrote at the time.
“One of the greatest two-sport athletes in the history of Pennsylvania,” The Post-Gazette’s Mike White wrote.
“He’s the greatest high school athlete in the history of the state of Pennsylvania,” his high school basketball coach once said. “You’re never going to see another athlete in the state like him.”
So no disrespect to Klay Thompson if he didn’t measure up.
Pryor also talked on the Patrick show about his much-discussed transformation from quarterback to wide receiver, saying he had to step back and look at the larger picture.
“After you’re doing something for so long, you just realize you know what, it’s not going to work, nobody’s going to give you the right chance, the chances aren’t there,” he said. “It’s hard, but you also got to check your ego. There’s a lot of egos flying around, and I had to check myself and say ‘You know what? It’s not working at QB. I had a good run, a good try, at least I tried, but let’s move on to something else that’s going to keep me on the field and playing the game that I love to death.’ And that’s what the choice was.”
Which prompted Patrick to ask where he ranks on the Redskins’ quarterback depth chart.
“We never spoke about that,” Pryor said with a laugh. “Hopefully we never ever ever have to get down to that position. I’d like to catch some deep passes from Kirk and make some explosive plays from the receiver standpoint. Maybe do a little trick play for a deep one or a touchdown or something like that, that’d be fun. But we haven’t spoke about that.”
Pryor has, though, texted with Cousins since his signing. And that’s not all.
“The funny thing is right before camp last year, he was driving home on I-80 to go towards Washington and I was on my way to Pittsburgh,” Pryor said. “And we ran into each other at a rest stop. And we chatted there. It’s crazy how things work, man.”
Did Cousins try to recruit Pryor then?
“Dan, at that time, I had one catch,” Pryor said. “I don’t think he wanted to see me.”