Top QBs to faceoff in Columbus

Ohio StateâÄôs Terrelle Pryor and Penn StateâÄôs Daryll Clark donâÄôt seem to have much in common. PryorâÄôs a 19-year old true freshman ; Clark a 22-year old junior . Pryor started his first career game four weeks into his college career; ClarkâÄôs first start was this season, four years into his college career. Pryor was the most recruited man in the Class of 2008 and picked the Buckeyes over offers from the Nittany Lions, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Florida and Oregon ; Clark was recruited by the likes of West Virginia, Iowa, Toledo and Nebraska before choosing Penn State but had to spend a year at Kiski Prep because of academic issues. Yet somehow, in October 2008, theyâÄôre in almost exactly the same positionâÄîstarting quarterback of a top-10 football team and Big Ten championship contender. And Saturday, theyâÄôll be on the same field. Clark and the No. 3 Nittany Lions (8-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) visit Pryor and No. 10 Ohio State (7-1, 4-0) at Ohio Stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m. For Clark, that means heâÄôs coming home. The junior is from Youngstown, OH; at Ursuline High School, he racked up all-league and all-area honors, in the mean time catching the eye of some elite programs. Missing from the list of suitors, however, was the Buckeyes. A trip back to Ohio as the starter may seem like a time for Clark to show Ohio State what itâÄôs missing, but Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is keeping him in check. âÄúI will tell himâĦâÄòenjoy it. Don’t get uptight. You’re not going to win the game by yourself,âÄôâÄù Paterno said. âÄúI hope he doesn’t take this thing where it’s going back home to Ohio to prove anything to the world. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody.âÄù Except to maybe himself. ClarkâÄôs path from high school graduate to Nittany Lions starting quarterback involved being declared academically ineligible, taking the ACT four times, spending a year on the scout team, spending two years as a backup and competing with Pat Devlin last summer for the starting job. Clark ranks second in the Big Ten and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency; heâÄôs completed 63.33% of his passes for 11 touchdowns and only a pair of interceptions at the helm of the conferenceâÄôs top offense. More importantly, the Nittany Lions are 8-0. Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel knows the evolution from academically ineligible to quarterback of the countryâÄôs third ranked team doesnâÄôt happen by accident. âÄúThat’s what you have to admire about Daryll Clark, he kept doing what had to be done,âÄù Tressel said Tuesday. âÄúHe kept progressing along every front, whether it was academics or football or weight lifting or whatever. Now he’s a big strong guy ready to get his degree, ready to lead his team, ready to do extraordinary things because he just kept stepping up to the challenge.âÄù Tressel has witnessed his own quarterback stepping up to the challenge this year as well. Since Pryor took over as the starter for senior Todd Boeckman in the fourth week of the season, Ohio State has gone 5-0 and appears to have returned to form since its 35-3 loss at the hands of USC. Pryor is already drawing comparisons to former Texas standout Vince Young and high praise from opposing coaches. âÄúHe’s a heck of an athlete and a heck of a football player,âÄù Paterno said of the quarterback he was unable to keep in Pennsylvania, PryorâÄôs home state. âÄúAnd I think he will be one of the really good quarterbacks we’ve had come out of this state.âÄù