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Pryor joins Tressel in leaving Ohio State football amid scandal

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, whose indiscretions played a role in head coach Jim Tressel's resignation last week, will not return to play football at Ohio State, his lawyer, Larry James, told The Plain Dealer Tuesday.

"In the best interest of my teammates, I have decided to forego my senior year of football at the Ohio State University," James said, reading a statement on behalf of his client.

James said Pryor, who is facing a five-game suspension to start the 2011 season for trading memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo artist for money and tattoos, has not decided if he will enter the NFL's supplemental draft -- assuming there is one -- before the season. The NFL has not announced a timetable for a potential supplemental draft.

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James said Pryor is considering remaining at Ohio State and finishing his senior year as a student.

"He'll take the next couple days to collect this thoughts," James said. "Right now, when you reach closure, it's very emotional."

Appearing on's "Cover Two Podcast" with Steve Wyche and Bucky Brooks earlier Tuesday, St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, who played collegiately at Ohio State, said Pryor would do himself a service by weathering the fallout at Ohio State instead of entering the supplemental draft.

One NFL general manager said Pryor would likely be selected in the latter middle rounds at best.

"You want to see some more maturity out of him, some more growth as far as a quarterback, being a leader throughout the locker room," Laurinaitis said. "This is an opportunity for him to say, 'OK, let me walk the straight and narrow here, get everything together and grow up a little bit (with) another year.' Hopefully he learns from this. He can go one of two ways.

"You can keep going further south or turn yourself around and use it and say, 'Listen, I handled this adversity and I grew from it.' You hope he goes that route. As long as you stay out of the media and stay out of the limelight with all that stuff and focus on football and being a leader of the squad, he's be all right. I hope that for him."

Laurinaitis said it was "disheartening" to see how Tressel, his embattled former coach, has been portrayed following months of turmoil, player infractions and his cover up that led to his recent resignation.

Laurinaitis played at Ohio State under Tressel from 2005 to 2008. He was selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2009 draft. Laurinaitis acknowledged that he has a personal relationship with Tressel and that the coach was wrong for not coming clean about his knowledge that some players have violated NCAA rules.

"The fact that he's being vilified as some liar and backstabber and stuff -- that guy is about as genuine a person as you can meet," Laurinaitis said. "I've seen him be a father figure to plenty of players ... To see him get portrayed as the ultimate fake guy is disheartening."

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