Pryor displays 'Vick' tribute in eyeblack
During No. 6 Ohio State's narrow 31-27 victory over Navy on Saturday, Pryor had the word "Vick" on the eyeblack sticker under his left eye. Under his right eye was "Mika" which he said referred to his sister.
Vick served 18 months in federal prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles last month.
"I always looked up to Mike Vick and I always will, because I still think he is one of the best quarterbacks," Pryor said. "I love Mike Vick."
Vick admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia. He was suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in August 2007.
"I know what happened with him and, I mean, I don't want to talk much," Pryor said. "I'm just going to be very short and sweet with it but I just feel he made his mistake and I think he just needs more support."
Vick has always been known as a great open-field runner who has yet to establish himself as an accurate passer. Pryor, a sophomore who was the top quarterback recruit in the nation two years ago, is also praised as a runner but has faced similar questions about his passing ability.
Pryor threw a late interception that resulted in a Navy touchdown with 2:23 remaining that pulled the Midshipmen to 29-27. Navy went for the tying two-point conversion, but Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle intercepted and returned the pass 99 yards for two points. The Buckeyes then recovered an onside kick.
A noted scrambler on the field, Vick was a three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
Pryor, who completed 14 of 21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown against Navy, didn't think Vick was getting a fair shot.
"Not everybody is the perfect person in the world," Pryor said of Vick. "Everyone does -- kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me. I just feel that people need to give him a chance."
Asked if he had seen the tribute to Vick on the 6-foot-6 Pryor's face, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he hadn't noticed it.
"I'm not tall enough to see his eyebrows," Tressel said. "I don't know what he had."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press