During a recent interview with ESPN Radio 1620 in Omaha (they can't get enough of me in Nebraska), I was asked about Terrelle Pryor's progress at Ohio State and whether he can follow Vince Young's path in his junior season with the Buckeyes.
Pryor always has drawn comparisons to Young, even before he arrived at Ohio State as the nation's top recruit in 2008. The two quarterbacks have shown some similarities in the early stages of their college careers, although Young really surged during the second half of his sophomore year. Pryor has been a bit less consistent, while still showing flashes of his immense potential.
One major connection between Pryor and Young is their performances in the final games of their sophomore seasons, the midpoint of most players' college careers. Both quarterbacks shined in Rose Bowl victories, Young against Michigan on Jan. 1, 2005 and Pryor against Oregon nearly seven months ago.
Both players earned Rose Bowl Offensive MVP honors for their efforts in Pasadena.
As we all know, Young built on his Rose Bowl performance with a fantastic junior season, passing for 3,036 yards and 26 touchdowns to go along with 1,050 rush yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Young won the Manning Award and the Davey O'Brien Trophy and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting as he led Texas to a national title. We're all waiting to see whether Pryor can make a similar jump in 2010.
How high did Young set the bar in 2005?
Here's a look at how he fared in the first half of his junior year:
Some impressive numbers, indeed.
Pryor gets a mulligan like Young had against Rice, but he'll need to establish himself as a consistent passer and a quarterback who gets Ohio State into the end zone with his arm or his legs. It won't be easy, but if Pryor can follow Young's path this fall, the Buckeyes could be lifting the crystal football in January.