That fall, John Prior still started every game at offensive tackle for Portsmouth (Ohio) High, but the first six weeks of the season, the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder wasn't allowed to practice.
Prior took a lot of mental reps during practice.
"It was hard," he stated. "It was a challenge every Friday night, as far as I had to use the fundamentals from freshman and sophomore years. I was rusty. The doctors said the only way I could play on Fridays, is if I kept my ankle fresh all week. When we were putting in different schemes, it was hard for me to catch up on them, because I couldn't get any practice in."
College recruiters are now starting to catch up on Prior.
Prior wasn't getting much interest during the season, but that changed during a recruiting visit from Cincinnati coaches in December.
"We have another big offensive lineman here, Nate Cadogan," Prior began. "Our coach doubled our highlight tapes. When the Cincinnati coach came in to watch Nate's tape, they kept it running to my highlights, and that's what sparked the interest."
Though the Bearcats have yet to offer, 13 other programs have. Marshall was the first to offer Prior. The list has grown to the likes of Florida State, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Louisville, Syracuse, Indiana, Akron, Ohio, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State.
Prior is also hearing from Ohio State, and soon could be getting some serious interest from Notre Dame.
"I'd consider Notre Dame," Prior said. He has a 3.0 GPA. "It'd be something I'd have to look into.
"I'm looking for great academics, as far as criminal justice wise"
Prior plans on taking a few official visits before giving a school a verbal commitment.
This past season, Prior began the season at right tackle, but switched to left for the third game of the season.
"I'm naturally left handed," he said.
Prior has already viewed the campuses at Ohio State, Marshall and Indiana. He is going to Florida State next week.