Junior QB is Preseason Offensive Player of the Year choice of the media
CHICAGO – Five-time defending Big Ten Conference champion Ohio State was tabbed by media members as the preseason No. 1 team in the Big Ten and junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor was the repeat choice of the media as the Big Ten’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones was also the repeat choice as the Big Ten’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The conference announced the poll and players of the year Monday during the first day of the Big Ten’s annual media days in Chicago.
This year marks the first since 1998 that the Big Ten’s Preseason Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year have been repeat selections from the previous season. Ohio State’s Andy Katzenmoyer (defense) and Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (offense) are the only other pair to accomplish the feat since at least 1996. Jones, selected the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year at the conclusion of the 2009 season and a consensus All-American, is the first back-to-back Preseason Defensive Player of the Year since Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis in 2007 and 2008, and Pryor is the first player to repeat as Preseason Offensive Player of the Year since Dayne earned the honor in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Pryor has guided Ohio State to two Big Ten Championships and two Bowl Championship Series games in his first two seasons. Last year he threw for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns and also led the Buckeyes in rushing with 779 yards.
He was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Rose Bowl Game. In the 26-17 win over Oregon Pryor had a career-high 266 yards passing with two touchdowns, 72 yards rushing and he directed Ohio State’s offense to a Rose Bowl record 41:37 time of possession.
Pryor enters his junior campaign already 11th among Ohio State’s career total offense leaders with 4,808 yards. His 1,410 rushing yards is the most among current Buckeyes (Brandon Saine has 1,071 and Dan Herron has 1,039).