Every program in the nation wants Terrelle Pryor: the 6-6, 230-pound quarterback out of Jeannette, Pa., is the top-rated prospect at any position by both Rivals.com and Scout.com and was the MVP of last month's Army All-Star Game in San Antonio, featuring many of the top recruits in the nation. He also happens to be one of the nation's most sought-after basketball players. From all the offers, Pryor has narrowed his list to handful, most prominently Ohio State and Michigan, where he will visit Saturday with ex-pro quarterback and "family friend" Charlie Batch. SMQ recently caught up with Pryor over paella valenciana and garrofo beans to discuss the pressures of the recruiting process, what he's looking for in a school and the role he expects to play as a freshman.
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Terrelle Pyror: The future, always so clear to me, has become like a black highway at night. We are in uncharted territory now, making up history as we go along.
SMQ: Many observers were surprised when you wrote you would be accompanied on your official visits by Charlie Batch, who has become close to your family. How did you meet him and decide he could be your "mentor" in the recruiting process?
TP: When Charlie Batch arrived in our time, it was suddenly so clear.
SMQ: I don't follow. You mean like Central Time?
TP: Three billion human lives ended on November 22, 2008, as a result of the outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan game. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare, a war against the machines...The evil mastermind which controlled the machines sent two terminators back through time, who took the form of men. Their mission: to destroy the leader of the human Resistance.
SMQ: Well, the fans in that rivalry, they do tend to overstate things...
TP: I am that leader.
SMQ: You've won every possible individual honor and dominated the Army All-Star Game in San Antonio. Do you think your new teammates will respect those accolades as `leadership material' immediately?
TP: When Charlie Batch first came to me, I didn't believe him. He seemed ridiculous, incoherent, lacking downfield accuracy. He told me the first terminator was programmed to strike at my mother, in the year 1984...before I was born. It failed. The second was sent to strike at me, soon, before I reached full maturity and declared early for the draft and signed lucrative endorsement deals. Then it would be too late. As before, the Resistance was able to send a lone warrior. A protector for me. It was just a question of which one of them would reach me first.
Charlie Batch reached me first. Thank God.
SMQ: So he came back, went to Eastern Michigan and eked out a steady living in the NFL in order to...protect you from a killer robot from the future?
SMQ: Or players' personnel files. Ha!
TP: Listen to me! Fool! I disbelieved as well. I scoffed at Charlie Batch and made my carefree teenage plans. Tressel wears a sweatervest; Rodriguez would be nowhere near the game for a "very, very long time." These were great men. It was only when I received that call from Rodriguez, when he told me he was to assume power at Michigan, that a chill went down my spine like the icy tongue of a silent viper. It was then I fully understood my destiny.
SMQ: How much does the lure of the spread option influence your decision?
TP: The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it for the first time with a sense of hope, because Charlie Batch surveyed the wretched hedonism and ignorance that preceded the great disaster. Charlie Batch will never stop, he will never disbelieve. He will never hurt me, never shout at me or get drunk and hit me or say he is too busy to spend time with me. Charlie Batch would always be there and he would die to protect my mission. Of all the would-be advisors who came and went over the years, this man, this washed-out quarterback was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, Charlie Batch was the sanest choice. He will tell me which man is good, and which is evil, and their strategies for using me. To save the world.
We have reason to believe this strategy will heavily incorporate the shotgun.
SMQ: By "save the world," do you mean, like, all-Big Ten, or...
TP: And yet, sometimes, I see it still. In my sleep.
SMQ: A nightmare.
TP: It's like a giant strobe light, burning right through my eyes, but somehow I can still see. Look, you know the dream's the same every night. Why, why do I have to...The children, they look like burnt paper...black, not moving. And then, the blast wave, it hits them and they fly apart like leaves...It's not a dream, you moron! It's real. I know the date it happens...on November 22, 2008, it's gonna feel pretty real to you, too! Anybody not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day, get it?!
SMQ: I think so.
TP: You think you're safe and alive. You're already dead. Everybody: Tom Lemming, you, you're dead already. This whole place. Everything you see is gone. You're the one livin' in a dream. Because I know it happens. IT HAPPENS! AND I HAVE TO STOP IT!!!
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Terrelle Pryor is the top-rated quarterback prospect in the nation.