February 05, 2008

The first stunner of Signing Day took place the night before.

Decorated quarterback Terrelle Pryor -- widely expected to choose between rivals Ohio State and Michigan at a nationally televised news conference Wednesday -- called Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell late Tuesday night to say he "100 percent will not be signing tomorrow," Farrell told SI.com.

(Check out the interview Pryor gave Rivals.com here.)

Only a day earlier, Pryor told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette he was "80 to 90 percent" sure he would announce his choice Wednesday, and numerous sources close to Pryor have indicated he was leaning toward Ohio State. However, the Jeanette, Pa., native told Farrell he now wants to take an official visit to Penn State before signing anywhere.

"His father really likes Penn State, and he wants [Pryor] to give them another look," said Farrell. "If it were up to Terrelle, I think he would sign tomorrow, but obviously there's nothing wrong with listening to your father."

Pryor has visited Penn State's campus unofficially in the past but has only taken official visits to Ohio State and Michigan. However, Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has been recruiting Pryor since his freshman year of high school, and last week both Bradley and Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno visited with Pryor in Jeanette.

Pryor did not say when he might visit State College. His packed basketball schedule, which previously precluded him from taking an anticipated visit to Oregon, will likely impact the timing. He also did not say whether his Wednesday news conference -- which is scheduled to be televised live at 12:05 p.m. ET by ESPN and to which numerous regional and national media members are traveling to attend -- would be canceled.

"You never know. He could wake up [Wednesday] morning and change his mind again," said Farrell. "But I don't think he'll sign tomorrow."

Though nearly all elite prospects usually sign letters of intent on Signing Day, it is technically only the first day of a signing period that lasts until April 1.

If Pryor does indeed hold out, it will not be unprecedented -- USC receiver Vidal Hazelton, former Florida State linebacker Buster Davis and former North Carolina quarterback Ronald Curry were among the handful of recent blue-chippers who delayed their decision. However, considering the intensity of coverage Pryor's decision has already garnered, any prolonged suspense will certainly cause no shortage of headaches in the days and/or weeks to come for both fans and coaches (who are not currently allowed to call recruits because it's an NCAA "dead period") of the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Nittany Lions.

"This kind of thing has never happened with a [No. 1] player," said Farrell. "Ever."

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