PARKERSBURG - A name from the past surfaced at J.P. Henry's Restaurant Wednesday night.
Greg Pruitt, the former-Oklahoma Sooner All-American who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round in 1973 was in town to promote "If You Ever Wore the Uniform" - a book written by Barry Taylor of Marietta.
"I met Barry when I was playing for Cleveland," said Pruitt, who was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1999. "He was the president of the River Rats, the Marietta edition of the Browns Backers.
"Once I retired from football, I began going around and doing fundraisers for the Browns Backers and that's how I got to know Barry."
The relationship grew and when Taylor decided to pen his book surrounding the traditions and memories of the Browns, Pruitt, who was selected to five Pro Bowls-four as a Cleveland Browns and one as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders-was one of those players Taylor selected to put in his book.
"The idea was to talk to as many players as he could about their memories from the time they played for the Browns. He took those comments and turned them into his book."
Pruitt's favorite memory? That's an easy one.
"It happened during my rookie year," said the player. "Being a rookie and new to the Browns, I wasn't aware of the rivalry that Cleveland fans had with Pittsburgh. In my first game against the Steelers, Leroy Kelley was our No. 1 running back, but I got a few chances to show what I could do, and I ended up scoring the winning touchdown.
"Well, all of a sudden all of these fans came out onto the field and the goal posts were swaying from side to side. Back then we shared the stadium with the baseball team and the teams would come onto the field from the dugouts.
"I looked around and saw the dugouts so when I saw a break in the crowd I made a dash for one of them. I went down the tunnel and to my surprise I had gone into the wrong dugout and there I was right in the middle of the Steelers' locker room. You could have heard a pin drop."
Pruitt, who ranks third among Sooners in career all-purpose yards (3,122 rushing, 491 receiving, 139 on punt returns and 679 on kickoff returns), made his way back down the tunnel and eventually made his way back to his teammates to celebrate their victory over Pittsburgh.
Later, the Houston, Texas-native would celebrate an NFL championship when the Raiders captured Super Bowl XVIII. Now, he spends his time as a consultant but he still follows the Browns.
"Browns fans are passionate. I love going around and talking about my time with the team. I may have won a Super Bowl with the Raiders, but I will always consider myself a Cleveland Brown first."
He also keeps tabs on his Sooners.
"You guys (West Virginia) put a pretty big whipping on my Sooners in that bowl game (Fiesta Bowl) a couple of years ago. Now, that you are in the Big 12, maybe we can get a little payback."