Behind the rankings
If you've checked out the SI/TAKKLE.com list of the nation's
No. 16 QB
If you follow recruiting at all, you probably know that Rivals.com and Scout.com consider
"O-D is not disputing [Pryor's] brilliance," said Urbanik, who now teaches school during the week and serves as the analyst on Wake Forest's radio team in the fall. "We're not disputing anything about him. What we're looking at is the player he'll be four years from now."
In fact, O-D's scouts think
"One of the things that stuck out to us with E.J.," Licursi said, "is even though he's listed as a dual-threat, he shows a lot more poise in the pocket and good arm strength."
Urbanik said Pryor is the most difficult type of player to project -- an athletic, big-armed quarterback. That may sound like a slam dunk, but history has shown those players don't find success in college with the same consistency as, say, a 6-4 receiver with blazing speed. "Remember a guy named
In 2004, Rivals ranked Lee the second-best quarterback and the No. 10 overall prospect. Scout ranked him the No. 2 quarterback and No. 11 overall. He had a huge arm, huge statistics, and unlike Pryor, who plays at a tiny high school in Western Pennsylvania, Lee played at a medium-to-large school in Daytona Beach, Fla., against better competition. But in four years at Florida State, Lee never could beat out
Of course, for every Xavier Lee, there is a
That disparity is precisely Urbanink's point. Unlike other positions, the dual-threat quarterback has more of a boom-bust quality when players move up a level. This season, former college and pro players and coaches working for O-D evaluated video of 4,000 players. The evaluators sent in their findings, which were then culled into a composite ranking. Based on their opinions, Pryor wound up at No. 16. That isn't so bad, Urbanik pointed out. If Pryor finishes his career as 16th-best player in college football, he could be a first-round NFL draft pick. Still, Pryor will have the next few years to prove O-D wrong.
"If Pryor goes and is one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy in four or five years, then obviously Offense-Defense was wrong," Urbanik said. "But if he's not one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy three, four or five years from now then Offense-Defense was correct."