football Edit

Isaiah Pryor's Father Discusses Notre Dame Visit, Defensive Fit, More

Arguably Notre Dame's most marquee visitor for the Oct. 12 weekend was Isaiah Pryor, a graduate transfer safety from Ohio State.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder left the Buckeyes' football program in late September to preserve his eligibility and take a redshirt for the 2019 season. Thus, he will have two years of eligibility remaining after graduating with his bachelor's degree from Ohio State this December.

The Fighting Irish coaching staff would like a boost to its secondary, and Pryor could add just that.

"There's a need to help the defense -- immediate competition for playing time," Isaiah Pryor's father, Richard Pryor, told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "They play five or six defensive backs so there's an opportunity there."

If Pryor is to choose Notre Dame, his fit in the Irish defense would be similarly to Alohi Gillman's as a safety for defensive coordinator Clark Lea.

Ohio State safety transfer Isaiah Pryor with Irish safeties coach Terry Joseph
Ohio State safety transfer Isaiah Pryor with Irish safeties coach Terry Joseph

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"They want him everywhere," the elder Pryor said. "He can play multiple spots. At Archer High School, before he went to IMG Academy, he played that hybrid star position -- in the box and at nickel. His first time playing safety was at IMG."

The Pryor family was impressed with the Notre Dame coaching staff and enjoyed meeting with head coach Brian Kelly.

"He's a personable type of guy," Richard Pryor said. "You don't have to be all nervous talking to him. He's really genuine. We talked to him, Coach Joseph, and Coach Lea every day during the visit."

During the visit, Pryor met with Adam Sargent, who is the Associate Director of Academic Services for Student-Athletes. Sargent explained the different master degree options Pryor would have at Notre Dame.

"He gave us some things to research," Mr. Pryor said. "Just like Ohio State set him on track, Notre Dame had everything laid out, and Sargent gave us our four or five options."

Richard Pryor played at Iowa in the mid-1980s and knows a thing or two about big time football environments, but Notre Dame offered a new experience for him.

"I've been to a lot of games and have played in a lot of games," Pryor explained. "I've never seen anything like that fan base."

The Pryor family would like to return to Notre Dame before making a final decision on where Isaiah will play for the next two years. Isaiah's mother was not able to make the official visit, and getting her up to South Bend is a priority.

"His mother wants to come up there. Isaiah wants to come up for the next home game, so that would Virginia Tech [Nov. 2]. We'll probably go up earlier than Friday because we're going unofficially," Mr. Pryor noted.

Other schools are in contact with Isaiah, and taking other visits are a possibility. A commitment to a school in the next few weeks is likely.

"He's talking to a bunch of schools," Richard Pryor said. "Isaiah is trying to condense it down. We don't want to drag this on. We know that Notre Dame and other schools have the early signing period and have to make decisions soon."

Academics is an important factor for the Pryor family in choosing's Isaiah's next school.

"It's not all about their football record and things like that. Academics is where it starts," Mr. Pryor said.

Isaiah Pryor was one of six finalists for the 26th annual Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award, a prestigious honor the African American high school athletes. Finalists for the award were selected based on their unweighted grade-point average, personal statement, extracurricular activities, community service and letters of recommendation.

"When he was younger, he was always the last player picked playing sports," Richard Pryor said. "His work ethic is bar none. He'll be up there with anybody as far as competing and training. He's a work horse. He is a grinder."

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