Calvin Pryor leads Cards defense

Safety Calvin Pryor has quickly established himself as a key figure in the Cardinals defense. The sophomore is also developing a reputation for making the big play.

As a senior at Port St. Joe High School, Calvin Pryor was considered one of Florida's top prospects. The safety received over a dozen scholarship offers, with the opportunity to play for Charlie Stong and the potential to make an immediate impact at a rebuilding program giving Louisville the final edge.

As a true freshman last fall, Pryor, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound free safety, played in all 13 games. A career-ending injury to Anthony Conner forced Pryor into the starting lineup midway through the season and he rose to the occasion. He finished his first year with 43 tackles and he was second on the team with five pass breakups. He also notched a pair of interceptions, while also forcing and recovering two fumbles.

When speaking with Pryor, he frequently speaks with a common theme. Constant improvement. That drive to improve fuels Pryor's play and he's quickly becoming known for making the big play.

Pryor's interception stopped a
Missouri State 2nd quarter drive
In the season-opener against Kentucky, Pryor totaled a career-high nine tackles and forced two key fumbles. Pryor continued his impressive play on Saturday, recording a team-high 8 tackles and he snagged a drive-killing interception.

"Last year I was just getting my feet wet," Pryor said following Saturday's 35-7 win over Missouri State. "I feel like a veteran now, but there's always room for improvement. I need to watch film to see things that I need to work on, so I can come out and make some more plays."

Through two games his 17 tackles leads the team and his two forced fumbles ranks among the nation's leaders.

"Calvin, each week, is getting better and better," head coach Charlie Strong said on Saturday. "He started as a true freshman, so we feel like he is a player that has a lot of ability. He is very rangy and can cover a lot of ground."

Pryor credits the time spent preparing for each opponent, both on the practice field and with film study.

"It's all about preperation," he said. "That's how you know you'll be in the right spots at the right time."

Through two games, the defensive side of the ball has received praise and criticism from it's coach and Pryor agrees that it's a unit that continues to reach for it's potential.

"We can always play better," he explained. "Sometimes coach feels like we play down to their level, so we need to make sure that we play at our own level. I feel like there is still a lot of room for improvement. The effort that we've been giving so far is just not good enough. We have to take it to another level."

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