Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

CB Troy Pride Evaluating His Future

The South Carolina cornerback is focused on four heading into the homestretch.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Troy Pride Jr. has taken two official visits. Those might be the only two he needs before selecting a school. 

“We’re evaluating right now,” Pride said. “We’re weighing our pro and con list after the visit with NC State. 

“[Future] visits right now, we’re not too sure. My dad, his schedule comes out for work in January. So we’re waiting to get that to see if we can get some [official] visits set up. We’re not too sure if we even want to take any more. So we’re really just evaluating seeing if we need to take any more or if we need to see something else.”

About a month ago, Pride, a 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback from Greer (S.C.), ended his nine-month stint on Virginia Tech’s commitment list.

“There was a lot of uncertainty and confusion with Virginia Tech at times,” Pride said. “So, we really wanted to step back and evaluate all of our options and make sure we weren’t making the decision that wasn’t beneficial to me for the next four years.”

As a Hokie commitment, Pride officially visited Notre Dame in mid-October. Last week, he took an official trip to NC State.

If he decides he’s finished with official visits, that doesn’t mean Pride will choose between NC State and Notre Dame.

“The reason I took those two official visits was because those were the places I hadn’t seen,” Pride said. “I’ve been to evaluate Virginia Tech – I’ve been up there four or five times. I’ve been to a spring practice and a game at UNC.”

Pride denies a group of finalists, but a quartet of schools has his focus – UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech.

“Notre Dame will be up there, because I’ve gotten a great vibe from them and everything they’ve done with me has been great,” Pride said. 

“Virginia Tech, obviously, [is under consideration, because] I was committed there. I love how Coach [Justin] Fuente presented himself to me and portrayed Virginia Tech for the next couple of years with him.

“I would say that UNC and NC State are kind of interchangeable for another spot, because I’ve gotten frequent contact from NC State. A lot of stuff that [NC State] has done has been consistent. I know that they were somewhat late coming on with an offer, but the way they’ve done things has been great.

“And then UNC, they’ve been consistently persistent. They’ve said they wanted me the entire time.”

Pride does admit, however, that he has a leader.

“I would probably have Notre Dame as my No. 1 school just because of the visit that I’ve had and the way that they’ve followed up with it,” Pride said. “The tradition that Notre Dame offers and the way that they’re planning for the future is impressive. And also my recruiting coaches – Coach [Autry] Denson and Coach [Todd] Lyght are class acts.”

Also, Pride has a school running second.

“I would label UNC at the two spot, because of the way that they’re doing things and the way that they’re moving forward and the way they have progressed,” Pride said. “They’re playing very well. They’re having a great season so far. They just signed Coach [Larry] Fedora to a seven-year contract and that’s huge moving forward.”

Thus, it’s unsurprising that if Pride does take additional official visits, UNC would be a destination. During an in-home visit with Charlton Warren early last week, he was pushing to host Pride the weekend of Jan. 16.

“We also talked about depth chart, we talked about their game with Clemson, and just a lot of things that pertained to me at UNC,” Pride said. “We really were looking at the vision like I was already at UNC.”

Pride falls in Gunter Brewer’s recruiting territory.  But, given Warren’s desire to add Pride to this class, he has taken a prominent role in UNC’s pursuit of Pride.

“That’s great,” Pride said. “Him being my DB coach, he’ll be the one that I’ll spend the most time with. The fact that he’s being hands on with my recruitment is good, because I’m able to develop a relationship with him.”

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