Batch Mentors Heisman Trophy Hopeful Terrelle Pryor
Kaboly, Mark, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
As soon as Terrelle Pryor heard Charlie Batch was getting the starting nod at quarterback for the Steelers, he instantly fired off a text message that read, "I hear a guy named Charlie B. is about to lead the Steelers to another victory."
Batch followed with a short, gracious response.
Over the past seven years, that's about the extent of the football talk that goes back and forth between the Heisman hopeful Ohio State quarterback and his longtime mentor.
When it comes to everything else -- school work, responsibilities, decision-making and life in general -- Batch has plenty of advice for Pryor.
"We all know he can play football, I am not concerned with that," Batch said. "Football is the last thing we talk about. I am worried about him as a person and making sure that he is OK. Everybody else can talk about football with him."
Having a strong personal relationship with a 13-year veteran professional quarterback such as Batch would seemingly be the perfect fit for Pryor to throw football questions at him repeatedly, but the conversation rarely goes down that path.
"I know I am one of the few who he knows that if he asks the tough question, he will get a tough answer," Batch said.
And Pryor doesn't mind at all.
"There are people out there who try to take advantage of you," Pryor said. "There are a lot of these bad people around, and it is just nice to have a good guy in your ear who has been there and done that."
For Pryor, having a mentor is something new.
For Batch, it's old hat.
Ever since establishing his Best of the Batch Foundation in his hometown of Homestead nearly a decade ago, Batch has mentored many young people from the area, and a lot have come for the Project C.H.U.C.K basketball tournament he holds every summer.
"That's what I do; that's how I spend my summer," Batch said. "If you want to know where I am from the second week of June through the third week of July, I am there five days a week and those kids are around me every single day."
Pryor wasn't the first and won't be the last, but he happened to be the most notable player Batch took under his wing.
Even though Batch's brother married Pryor's cousin, the two never really had a relationship until Pryor's freshman year of high school when he took part in Batch's basketball tournament. …