Ohio State safety transfer Isaiah Pryor is currently visiting Notre Dame for the second time in less than a month. The soon to be former Buckeye visited Notre Dame last month for the Notre Dame – USC game and will be joined on campus this time by both of his parents as they watched the Irish take on Virginia Tech.
Pryor decided to transfer from Ohio State in September to preserve his eligibility year. He’ll have two years of eligibility left wherever he ultimately transfers to.
During Pryor’s last trip, he was joined by his father, but this time around he will have both of his parents with him. Word is that this trip is about winning over mom before Pryor makes it official. That is usually a battle Notre Dame is more than equipped to win.
Landing Pryor as a transfer would be a huge boost for the 2020 Irish defense, given the lack of experience in the secondary for next year. Notre Dame loses Jalen Elliott, Troy Pride, and Donte Vaughn for sure and most likely loses Alohi Gilman (NFL) and Shaun Crawford. There is still a slight chance Notre Dame talks Crawford into applying for a 6th-year medical redshirt. There is no way even the idiotic NCAA could deny that one. That said, reports are Crawford isn’t interested in a 6th year.
All of that attrition leaves Notre Dame in a bind experience-wise. Kyle Hamilton has played a ton this year at nickel, and Tariq Bracy has emerged as a potential standout corner with more development. Outside of those two, no other returning secondary members have played much this year.
Houston Griffith moved to safety earlier this season in a move with eyes on 2020. He could finally step into a starting role and could provide very little drop off – if any – at safety given the Irish safeties have regressed this year. Hamilton should emerge as a top-line player as a sophomore. Even if Pryor were not to win either of the starting safety roles, he would be the 3rd safety at worst and play a ton in this defense – just like Hamilton this year.
A secondary featuring Hamilton, Griffith, and Pryor all playing together at the same time is an exciting possibility. That is a lot of length and athleticism in the secondary. That is SEC caliber size and athleticism on the backend of the secondary. There’s no guarantee that SEC level production follows, but it would undoubtedly be the biggest and most athletic backend of the defense Notre Dame has had in a long, long time.
Like Griffith, Pryor attended IMG Academy in Florida. He graduated a year before Griffith, though.
Assuming Notre Dame seals the deal this weekend and locks up Pryor, Notre Dame’s starting secondary in 2020 might only have one spot still very much up in the air – boundary corner. Cam Hart moved to corner at the same time Griffith moved to safety, and he could be the darkhorse candidate to land the boundary position in 2020 given his size.