Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer 86d

Buckeye Battle: Gareon Conley faces former-QB-turned-WR Terrelle Pryor

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Terrelle Pryor was long gone from Ohio State by the time Gareon Conley set foot in Columbus, Ohio. And still, Pryor's legacy, rightly or wrongly, hung over the campus in the four years between Pryor's exit after the 2010 season and Conley's arrival in 2014.

The tattoos-for-memorabilia scandal, which saw the school ban Pryor from campus for five years for his role in it, made little sense to Pryor when he was a quarterback with the Oakland Raiders from 2011 through 2013.

But since then, Pryor has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks, was cut after trying to make the team as a quarterback, and also by the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals before he reinvented himself as a receiver with the Cleveland Browns in 2016.

He caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns last season. In the offseason, he signed a one-year free-agent contract with Washington worth up to $6 million.

And that's where Conley enters the picture.

Conley, the Raiders' first-round draft pick who missed training camp and the exhibition season with a shin injury, is coming off an impressive NFL debut against the New York Jets. He played 46 snaps and, per Pro Football Focus, had 28 snaps in coverage, giving up one catch, for eight yards. He also broke up a deep ball down the left sideline.

Conley facing Pryor is a likelihood come Sunday night on national television in Washington.

"I mean, I'm looking forward to any matchup," Conley said Tuesday. "Just to go up against anybody from that school, I know he was great at Ohio State. People did talk about him, but I'm looking forward to any matchup."

Conley is 6-feet, 195 pounds. Pryor is 6-foot-4, 228 pounds, and runs like a deer.

So what stands out to Conley about Pryor?

"His versatility, obviously," Conley said. "He's got good top-end speed, big dude, so I know he's going to be a vertical threat."

Much like Jermaine Kearse was for the Jets when Josh McCown tested Conley and he responded with a pass breakup. And no, Conley does not have volleyball skills, despite going up to knock the ball down with a spike. Conley laughed.

"I was just trying to make sure he didn't get the ball," he said. "I'm going to pick it off next time."

But might that come against Pryor?

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