"Part of itís his release," Gasca says over lunch. "But everyone does it their own way, and Terrelle will learn his quick enough. Heís a stud."
A lean, handsome man across the table is quick to agree. "Just lying on your bed when youíre a kid," says Rice, throwing an imaginary football up in the air. "Thatís how you get the touch for the spiral. Terrelleís just so strong heís been able to get it in."
The next morning, Montana, in sweats, takes the field and walks over to Pryor after opening drills, holding a football. They grew up 40 minutes and 30 years apart in western Pennsylvania but had to meet in Southern California for the most storied signal caller in NFL history to teach the most highly recruited quarterback in NCAA history how to throw a football. Pryor makes little eye contact as Montana demonstrates the spiral, throwing the ball up in the air and catching it, softly, over and over, talking his way through each release. Pryor looks mostly side to side, embarrassed, to see if anyoneís watching, obliging with a few gentle tosses before sauntering off without a word, literally leaving Montana holding the ball.
But thereís Pryor after lunch, lying on his back, throwing a football up and catching it, his hand initially bent forward on the follow-through, then increasingly flared out to the right. Snoop Dogg walks by and sees Pryor. "Rest it out, TP," he says, sotto voce. "Rest it out."
Pryor is on the beach a half-hour after the retreat wraps up, calling Coach Tressel to tell him about his weekend. "Hey, Coach, Snoop called me TP," he says into one cell phone, using his free hand to photograph a seagull with another, an iPhone. "Oh, yeah, and Joe Montana worked with me on my mechanics. A little."
Mapquest has the drive from Jeannette to Columbus, Ohio, where Pryor and other freshman football players start the year on June 14, at four hours. But it didnít factor for Pryor, driving his momís white 2007 Hyundai Sonata, pushing the needle to 115. The trip is a three-hour taste of life in the Terrelle Lane, in which there truly is no looking back: The rearview mirror is uselessthe portion of back window not obscured by the wide-screen plasma TV is blocked by a white-brimmed fedora, a pair of black Nikes, a signed and framed Randall Cunningham jersey, and a 12-pack of Gatorade resting behind the back seat. The passing median is a green blur for minutes on end.
"Just a man on the move," says Pryor, who turned 19 a few days ago. After a couple of minutes, he starts talking about his famous end-zone leap against Washington High. "Actually, I was slipping when that guy came up. Only way to the goal was up."
He cranks the volume when Lil Wayne starts rapping against the Animalsí "Donít Let Me Be Misunderstood."