LeBron reaches out to Terrelle Pryor

Cleveland Cavs’ star LeBron James has recently started reaching out to Ohio State sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has come under criticism lately after his poor performance in the Buckeyes’ loss to Purdue last Saturday.

From ESPN.com:

“[I’m] trying to mentor him and get him through ‘life in the spotlight,’ which I’ve been through,” James said after a preseason game in Columbus on Wednesday night.

James said he has been speaking to Pryor on the phone in recent weeks to try to help him deal with celebrity at a young age. James knows something about that, since he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated under the headline “The Chosen One” while he was still in high school in Akron, Ohio.

“Being that No. 1 guy, how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it and still perform at a high level?” James said. “Sometimes it can be very difficult on [a young athlete]. I’m trying to be that guy who can really help him get through a lot of situations which he’s never seen before but now he’s seeing and understanding.”

Pryor said the bad game at Purdue had helped open his eyes.

“That opened me up to the world and opened me up to myself and who I am as a person,” Pryor said. “I think maybe that was the best thing to happen to us last week. Maybe we’ll learn from it. We’re having real good practices, and we’re just trying to get the fans back on our side.”

Pryor seems to have a good head on his shoulders and generally wants to excel at the collegiate level. Hopefully he doesn’t succumb to the pressure and criticism of the media and tanks the rest of his career because he has plenty of athletic talent.

This is when Jim Tressel needs to step up and do everything he can throughout the week and on Saturdays to ensure that Pryor succeeds. If that means scaling back the playbook and giving Pryor only 10 plays to master, then so be it. Spreading out the offense and trying to fit a round peg in a square hole won’t work and Pryor will only continue to struggle.

It’s great that a star like LeBron is willing to help a student athlete out. But he isn’t going to be around Pryor all the time like Tressel is. Maybe Tressel’s future at Ohio State should be tied to how Pryor develops over the next couple years. (If it isn’t already, that is.)

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