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January 30, 2014

Pryor brings SEC-style skill set to A&M

Sulphur Springs safety Larry Pryor is listed at 5 foot 11 and 192 pounds. He's the only safety in the Rivals.com 250 who is below 6 feet tall and on the surface he doesn't sound like the type of prospect that would be ideal to play safety in the SEC were size is at a premium. However, many outlets have him at 6 foot 1 and on film he certainly looks and plays like a 6 foot plus SEC safety.

Pryor played quarterback and strong safety as a junior although most of his highlights as a junior are on offense. His sophomore highlights are a different story as he spends virtually all of his time on offense. He lines up as a centerfielder, as a deep defender in halves, and as a corner or nickel covering slots and outside receivers. This indicates that he's a really smart prospect who understands how to play multiple positions…not just the defensive calls but also the techniques required at each position. He has good vision and is very aware of everything happening around him.

Pryor proves to be a hitter as he has great closing speed to the ball carrier regardless of whether he's coming downhill or across the formation (he had 188 tackles as a sophomore). He can lower his shoulder and leave people attempting to shake off the cobwebs from his hits. He has long arms for someone his size and in multiple clips he reminds you of someone much taller with his ability to grab someone and sling them down, strip them of the football, or just stalemate them at the point of contact.

In coverage, Pryor uses his acceleration to break on the ball but he's also someone who is very good at reading routes and putting himself in position to break on the ball in the first place. He has great hips and is able to get into a backpedal and explode of it either to break on the ball or extend himself for a hit. In fact, unlike a lot of deeper defenders, he has no problems moving down to cover people in man coverage because of his backpedal…he has great coordination and doesn't overextend himself before he has to come out of it. When he does, he can cut and drive on the ball. On one clip from his junior campaign, he takes a fullback coming out of the backfield on a wheel route, flips his hips, and runs all the way down the field to break up the pass.

Pryor's offensive film indicates the same attributes that he displays on defense. He's got great ability to cut and accelerate out of his cuts which mirrors his abilities to run with receivers, change direction, and break on the ball. He's strong and well coordinated and as a result he's difficult to bring down as a ball carrier which in turn allows him to hold up physically as a tackler. Physically, he's tough and on one clip he takes a hit as he releases a pass for a touchdown.

Like a lot of big hitters in high school, Pryor is going to have to learn to wrap up rather than just lead with his shoulder (especially in terms of targeting penalties). Nonetheless, he can play either in the box or deeper down the field which is why he is rated as the third best prospect at the position in the country for 2015 and has offers from some of the top schools in the region. Given A&M's lack of safeties in the 2014 at the current time, he represents a huge get for head coach Kevin Sumlin, area recruiter B.J. Anderson, and position coach Terry Joseph.


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