CBSSports.com announced their college football All-American teams, with University of Louisville
senior strong safety Hakeem Smith
named to the second team. Junior free safety Calvin Pryor
has the potential to join his teammate when such post season accoclades are announced.
A product of Port St. Joe, Fla., Pyror started the final seven games of his freshman season, finishing sixth on the team in tackles. Last season he upped his game, starting all 13 games. He finished second on the team with 100 tackles and earned second team All-Conference honors.
His experience, both as a leader and on field presence, will be vital for the Cardinals success this fall.
"He's one of our leaders on defense," said defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. "He just makes plays. He finds a way to make plays when the ball is in the air and also great run support."
His presence on the field last year was felt immediately when he forced two forced fumbles in the Cardinals 32-14 win over Kentucky in the season opener.
Others have noticed. The Bednarik Award, given to the nation's Defensive Player of the Year, and the award for best defensive back, The Jim Thorpe Award, both him Pryor on preseason watch lists.
This summer and into training camp, Pyron has focused on improving his game.
"I've improved on my technique more than anything," said Pryor. "Staying down and getting out of my break, instead of rounding out my break."
Pryor and Smith have been asked many times about being considered one of the nation's best safety duos and they don't disagree with the label.
"We go and play every game like we know how," Smith told Cardinal Authority. "Calvin and I see ourselves as one of the best duos in the nation, so we try to go out and compete every day like we are."
Junior free safety Calvin Pryor had a solid 2012 season. With 20 consecutive starts under his belt, Pryor is primed to make an larger impact in 2013.