Calvin Pryor's only focus is bowl game

University of Louisville junior safety Calvin Pryor is preparing for perhaps his final game as a Cardinal, the Russell Athletic Bowl against Miami, Fla., on Saturday in Orlando, Fla. Cardinal Authority spoke with the hard-hitting Pryor.

Much of the talk heading into the Russell Athletic Bowl game for the University of Louisville has surrounded Teddy Bridgewater's pending decision after the game.

But the U of L quarterback isn't the only junior on the Cardinals' roster with a decision to make after Saturday's game against Miami, Fla., in Orlando, Fla.

U of L safety Calvin Pryor of Port St. Joe, Fla., was a second-team Athlon's All-American and had another stellar season for the Cardinals. Pryor is likely to move up the draft boards after workouts, so he will have a decision to make soon after the bowl game on his future.

"I've started thinking about it some," said Pryor, noting he will sit down with his family after the game. "But there's still football to be played.

"I will take care of that when the season is over."

Pryor, a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, said his college degree would be a big factor in making his decision. He's on track to graduate next spring.

"That's a big factor," he said. "That's the only thing that's playing on my mind now, getting my degree. I want to come back and get my degree.

"I am sure everything will work out for the best."

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Pryor is not worried about the future now, trying to help the Cardinals to another bowl game victory.

Pryor, who had built a reputation as a hard-hitting safety, said the Cardinals have to limit the big plays against the athletic Miami wide receivers.

And in order to do that, Pryor will need to play his game.

As a junior, Pryor has 69 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, four pass break-ups and three interceptions. He has seven career interceptions and 212 career tackles, including 11 tackles for a loss.

"I guess guys watch film and see me make plays," Pryor said of building his reputation. "I try to make plays. Growing up, my dad would always tell me nobody is going to the ground easy so you have to try and punish them.

"I want to punish the ball carrier."

An All-AAC performer, Pryor said having safety Hakeem Smith in the back has helped him become the player he is this season.

"Without Hakeem, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things without him," he said. " No matter what, we want to win this bowl game bad."

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