Notre Dame could land one of its top targets next cycle before next season.
Four-star safety Isaiah Pryor told Scout.com analyst Chad Simmons this week that he’s leaning toward a decision in the coming months, before he plays a snap of football at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., this fall. A video interview with Pryor is linked below.
Pryor visited Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold Game last month.
“It’s really hard to make a decision because you have to make sure you get to all the schools first, give them a fair shot to show what they have to offer,” Pryor said. “I’m probably going to make my decision before the season starts this year.”
That may put Notre Dame in good position for a prospect from SEC country with Big 10 roots. Pryor’s father, Richard Pryor Sr., played defensive line at Iowa in the mid-80’s. He overlapped there with Bob Elliott, the former Irish assistant coach who now serves as Special Assistant to the Head Coach and remains involved in recruiting.
Pryor Sr. finished at Iowa before Paul Longo’s arrival and nearly played alongside Matt Ruhland, the father of incoming freshman guard Trevor Ruhland.
The connections with Notre Dame, even through the Hawkeyes program, helped make the Irish familiar with a prospect who doesn’t have many South Bend connections on the surface. Pryor had targeted a Junior Day stop at Notre Dame in March, but had to delay a few weeks before attending the spring game.
Notre Dame offered Pryor during that visit.
“It was a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed it,” Pryor said. “It was just something unique to go see. They have a lot of staples that they have, one of the highest academic schools and it was nice to see how they do things over there.
“Really good school. I’m happy to visit up there again if I can some day.”
Pryor, who’s also visited Ohio State and Georgia, said education will be a major part of his decision. Both Pryor’s parents work in the medial field.
“First thing, academics,” Pryor said. “That’s really important. I really want to get a degree before I finish playing football if that’s even possible … making sure I’m a good fit in a school, whether that be with the players, feeling like I have a good chance to graduate early.”
With that Notre Dame visit so recent in Pryor’s recruitment, the Irish could be months away from landing a national prospect. Pryor said the only reason he wants to come off the board early is because he’s ready to make an informed choice.
“It’s not even technicalities as if I was to get hurt during the season,” Pryor said. “But I’ve been to a lot of schools, I’ve seen some of the top ones all around the nation and I feel as though I’m going to be able to make my decision soon.”