Terrelle Pryor stole the show Saturday afternoon.
Pryor brought the announced crowd of 42,310 to it’s feet multiple times as he finished the afternoon unofficially with 6 receptions – including a pair of touchdowns – during the Browns’ annual Orange and Brown scrimmage, a homecoming of sorts for the former Ohio State star.
Every time the ball went his way The Shoe gasped and was ready to explode the moment he caught it.
“Playing in here was electric,” Pryor said. “I’m sure there are a lot of Buckeye fans here, Browns fans. Hopefully, it’s the upcoming of what’s possibly to be, just making big plays, breaking tackles, making long runs.”
In the first half, Pryor beat cornerback K’Waun Williams for a ball from Robert Griffin III in the far corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown.
That wasn’t even the highlight of the day.
That came on the final play of the scrimmage when quarterback Josh McCown launched a ball deep down the field and Pryor effortlessly ran under it leaving defensive back Mike Everitt in his dust. He sauntered into the end zone, dropped the ball, ran towards the stands, raised his arms to the crowd and signed the traditional O-H-I-O in celebration.
Just like the good old days with the Buckeyes.
Pryor was reluctant to get too nostalgic about returning to The Shoe or the day he had. His focus remained where it’s been – in the moment. For him, it was just another day at the office as he continues his quest to convert himself into an offensive weapon for Hue Jackson.
“Football is football, no matter where it’s at,” Pryor said. “It all feels the same. I know there is the most amazing crowd here with the Buckeyes and Browns fans are pretty awesome, as well, but football is football. When you’re between the lines, I don’t hear anything. I’m focused on the guy that’s trying to stop me and I’m coming for him. That’s it.”
Jackson, who drafted Pryor in the 2011 supplemental draft with the Oakland Raiders, admitted Saturday that he didn’t have the confidence to suggest a position change last year to Pryor before the Bengals released him in June, 2015. But Jackson sure is glad that Pryor came to that decision.
Pryor made the Browns 53-man roster at the end of camp last year but was released prior to the season opener. Unable to catch on despite multiple tryouts with teams, the Browns re-signed him on Dec. 2. Another offseason of hard work is paying dividends.
“He’s done a tremendous job,” Jackson said. “He has taken this opportunity and he is trying to make the most of it…He made that decision, and he has never looked back. I think we see the fruit of his hard work.”
Pryor, who has put the tattoo scandal that saw him and 4 teammates as well as head coach Jim Tressel unceremoniously dismissed, enjoyed his first action on the field in Columbus in 5 years. He was unable to participate in last year’s scrimmage at The Shoe due to a lingering hamstring injury.
Pryor, who has 6 credits remaining, plans to return to the Ohio State campus to finish his degree in criminology, ballistics and forensics. He is also exploring the idea of setting up a scholarship program for students in need at the university as well.