So how would Kentucky's defensive line coach evaluate the way Pryor has played this year as the Cats continue to prepare for the Liberty Bowl? "He started out great and had a great beginning. He was cruising and having a great year and then he had the ankle injury that took him back a little bit," Petri said. ‘Then I think at the end he has brought it back on. He has got healthier, looked better and I think we are looking for him to have a big game in the bowl game."
While Pryor made many big plays in games to establish himself as one of the SEC's best interior defensive linemen, his practice work may have made an even bigger impact for UK because this season he fulfilled Petri's goal to become a leader daily.
"He is one of our better practice players. Without a doubt he practices with high energy. He comes out and takes advantage of every repetition he gets. I think he has definitely done what you want from a senior to try and set the tempo at practice and hope the others follow his lead," Petri said.
Considering how many young players Pryor had watching him on both sides of the ball, that work ethic could pay big dividends in future years if young players follow his lead.
"We hope they do. We will find out this spring," Petri said. "You hope that they realize here is a guy who has some accolades, but he continues to work hard. He is probably our hardest worker, or right at it. I don't want to slight anyone else, but he works to get better every day. When one of your best players does that, it has to make an impression on younger players and shows them what it takes to become the same kind of player he is."