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Isaiah Pryor: From Buckeye to Irish

| Friday, November 19, 2021

One visit to South Bend was all it took for senior linebacker Isaiah Pryor to leave the transfer portal as a member of the Notre Dame football team. After spending the first three years of his career as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Pryor elected to graduate early and hunt for a new school. And although the transfer portal process can be a hard and complicated one, the decision to enroll at Notre Dame was made easier thanks to his relationship with head coach Brian Kelly.

“I feel like it made it an easier transition being that I kept a relationship with coach Kelly,” Pryor said. “Once I got into the portal we started talking, I took a visit here and then after the first visit, I was already committed to come. So he made that transition very easy.”

Outside of his talks with coach Kelly, Pryor felt that the energy and culture of the team as a whole was another contributing factor into his decision and transition to Notre Dame.

“The team was very open and wanted me to be a part of them and push them to be great,” Pryor said. “So I felt that the team dynamic was another easy thing to kind of get introduced to.”

Playing for two of the biggest and most well-known college football programs in the nation provides plenty of opportunities to perform on the big stage. For Pryor, the win against Clemson in the 2020 season was perhaps his most unforgettable game during his playing career.

“That first Clemson win last year was probably the most memorable moment for sure,” Pyror said. “It was crazy; that atmosphere was wild after the game. Everybody stormed the field and it was just an amazing experience.”

Gabrielle Penna | The Observer
Irish graduate student linebacker Isaiah Pryor calmly navigates his terrain with ball in hand during Notre Dame’s 27-13 win over Purdue on Sep. 18 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Off-field conditioning is a part of every college football player’s life, and while some may not view their time in the weight room very fondly, for Pryor it is the opposite. He claimed that some of his best memories away from the playing field came during strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis’ workouts.

“Off the field, I would say the thing I’ll remember the most is probably coach Balis’ workouts, especially over the summer.” Pryor said. “It’s some of the hardest workouts I’ve ever been through, and I feel like that was some key moments to bonding with each other and that type of stuff.”

Outside of the contributions that he has provided on the field, his hardworking mentality and the relationships that he’s forged with his teammates are things that Pryor feels have made the biggest impact.

“As far as the impact that I’ve made here, I’m always a hard worker. I’m going to push everybody else around me to get better,” Pyror said. “But most importantly, I feel like the relationships that I’ve built with my teammates are something that’s going to last a lifetime.”

While Pryor’s time on the field is coming to a close, he is hoping to put the degree he earned from Ohio State and the master’s degree he is going to earn from the Mendoza College of Business to good use.

“I have an undergraduate degree in finance and graduating with my master’s in management here at Mendoza, so I was thinking finance,” Pryor said. “Probably be like a financial analyst, maybe an advisor, possibly getting into banking, merging and acquisition. It’s a lot of things, but I would probably say more geared towards finance.”

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