Sam Webb: Let’s start off with you just giving me your take on how the recruiting process is going.
Richard Pryor: “It’s going pretty well. He mainly spoke about academics. That’s why you always hear him mention academics first because he’s a psych major. He’s just making sure he thoroughly looks into each school and not just at the offer for what he’s looking for, which is a good relationship with the coaches and the players and the university. It’ll come down to that as far as him committing probably because of the name of the school. It’s more of his relationships and our relationships as a family with the staff, players and universities.”
Sam Webb: When you go on these visits kind of give me an idea of what the approach is.
Richard Pryor: “We normally go as a family, mostly, they talk Isaiah because he’s the one that is going to go to the university. They try to engage us as much as possible because we’re his parents and they want us to feel comfortable because whether he is close to home or away from home, we want to make sure that we feel comfortable with him committing to a university.”
Sam Webb: Give me an idea of what you’re looking for when you’ve gone to these campuses? What’s the criteria?
Richard Pryor: “Alumni of course. To know there is a future with the university away from football and once he graduates, can he still have a relationship with the university, so you kind of look around and see there are a lot of alumni around, involved in the program, whether they have business or they have still have the university. First thing we do is we meet with the academic advisors and (discuss) how are they are going to handle the freshman and helping them with the adjustment away from home. It’s really huge that first year as a freshman, getting comfortable and not getting homesick. We going to see what type of process of they have in place, especially at the mid-year, so it is even more important when he goes to school in January that he is comfortable, because it is not many mid years that come in each year to the university.”
Sam Webb: I talked to Isaiah maybe a week before you guys came up to Michigan for that spring game as a family because he had just been to Ann Arbor on a bus tour. What was your experience at Michigan? What was that like and what was your take away from your time in Ann Arbor?
Richard Pryor: “I kind of new Coach Harbaugh. When I was at Iowa, we were both (ranked highly) when I played against him (#1 ranked Iowa beat #2 ranked Michigan in 1985). He remembered me right away when I got there. Isaiah has been talking to Coach Wheatley who is recruiting the Georgia area quite often… so we are very comfortable talking to him. My wife also talked to Coach Wheatley before we got there and just asked a lot of personal questions. Michigan really (focused on) a lot of things more than just talking football. That’s one of the biggest thing we look for. Is there anything else… any other substance than football? It was very informative for the two days. When we got there, we walked right into the stadium and saw all those facilities. The biggest thing is that Michigan makes sure that you graduate. That was the main focus that they were expressing to us. They even showed us the diploma if Isaiah did graduate from Michigan. They showed us with his name on it and everything, which is unique to do something like that. The next day, right before the spring game, we spent the whole morning with the academic presentation. I forgot her name, but she is well known and she was at Michigan State. (Sam Webb: Shari Acho). It was a great and informative information that she gave us. They have different study teams and a lot of one on one times in small groups. You know even for a big university, they still break it down and help him adjust as a freshman if you have trouble. You always have people that you can go to in the process.”
Sam Webb: What do you remember that game Michigan versus Iowa with Harbaugh in it?
Richard Pryor: “I had a couple of sacks against him, so he remembered me and as soon as I said 99. He was like I remember you (laughter). I’m just glad we pulled a victory out. It was well fought, two good teams, well coached and we just got the best of them that day.”
Sam Webb: So you were a defensive end?
Richard Pryor: “They called it that but really it was an outside linebacker.”
Stay tuned to The Michigan Insider for for part two in which Pryor's father discusses his son's upcoming plans, decision timeline, and more.