The NFL can boast a bevy of talented wide receivers—Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown, to name just three—but perhaps none of them had such an impressive season as Terrelle Pryor, simply based on the circumstances. In his first full year as a wideout after years of playing quarterback, Pryor went for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns while playing with a revolving door of quarterbacks on the Cleveland Browns and functioning as the team’s No. 1 receiver. That’s skills!
Pryor’s combination of size and speed makes him an ideal target on the football field, and it also made him an incredibly dominant basketball player during his time at Jeannette (Pennsylvania) High School. On Friday morning, Pryor tweeted highlights of his time as a hoopster, and it’s not hard to imagine him in the NBA if he had picked basketball over football. He’s quick and smooth to the hoop, and he displays that patented explosiveness that defined his play at Ohio State as a quarterback and now in the NFL as a wide receiver.
Pryor was actually ranked as the 39th best basketball recruit in the country in ESPN’s Top 100 of 2008, slotting in 14 spots ahead of Klay Thompson, whom you can find splashing 3s for the Golden State Warriors, and one spot below current Cleveland Cavalier Iman Shumpert. Here’s a snippet of his scouting report from back then:
A strong athlete with good hands. Right now he is most dangerous posting up on the blocks and using his strength and athletic ability to score. Along with that, he can score off the dribble from 17′ driving all the way to the basket or using one or two dribbles then shooting. He predominantly likes to go to his right. At the next level he must develop his left handed drive. Can make a wide open 3-point shot and sees the floor well with the ball in his hands to find his teammates. Defensively he can guard post and perimeter. A big time football player who is a great basketball player; a rare combination.
What really stood out about Pryor during his high school basketball days was his passing ability. In the highlight tape below, from a playoff game during Jeannette’s 2007-2008 season, Pryor runs the break and dishes dimes to his teammates and throws a gorgeous outlet pass after snaring a rebound. Pryor’s teams won state championships in both football and basketball that year.
[youtube video=”GpvtfUkRgnI” /]
Pryor looks like he’s finally found his niche in the NFL, but there’s no doubt he could have flourished as a basketball player if he had chosen to go that route, both at the collegiate and pro levels.
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