Tressel keeps Pryor, Brewster under wraps

Updated: January 2, 2009, 7:43 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ohio State starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor was not among the 30 Buckeyes players made available during Fiesta Bowl media day Friday morning.

Pryor and center Mike Brewster, both freshmen, were the only two starters who didn't appear at the bowl's media gathering. Texas brought all of its starters to its portion of media day.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said Pryor, who hasn't met with reporters since after the regular-season finale Nov. 22, spent the morning in meetings in preparation for Monday's matchup against the No. 3 Longhorns (Ohio State is No. 10).

"We were asked to bring 30 players and we sent in a list of players," Tressel said. "I did get one call asking, 'Did you happen to miss any?' I said, 'Well, you might be talking in terms of Terrelle and Mike Brewster because they're starters.' But they're freshmen and we decided when we were counting to 30 that there were 30 others who were afforded the opportunity to be there."

Pryor's only media availability during the regular season has been after games. He was available during Ohio State's preseason media day in August, but not during game weeks.

Fiesta Bowl president and CEO John Junker said he could not recall a team not making its starting quarterback available before the bowl game. The BCS media policy asks teams to make all of their starters available before the game, but there isn't a method for enforcement.

"The lack of a clearer policy puts both of us in a difficult situation," Junker said. "What's in the policy is starters, and that may be one thing where Ohio State says, 'We've alternated quarterbacks to start games.'"

Senior linebacker James Laurinaitis said he understood why Tressel did what he did, adding, "Coach has been that way with all freshmen."

Added senior cornerback Malcolm Jenkins: "He's a freshman. We've got a lot of seniors here. We have 28 seniors here who can talk to the media. What he says or I say about the game doesn't carry much weight. What matters is what he does on Monday night."

Ohio State senior QB Todd Boeckman, who started the first three games, was available to the media Friday. Pryor started the final nine games, and although Ohio State likely will play both in the Fiesta Bowl, Pryor is fully expected to start.

Tressel said he didn't think Pryor has been treated unfairly by the media, and praised the freshman for his conduct with reporters after games this season.

"He's been very forthright and honest," Tressel said. "That's just a little bit of a decision that we made."

Adam Rittenberg covers the Big Ten for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. Information from ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach was used in this story.