We all knew watching Calvin Pryor last year that this wasn’t your average Safety. Over and over Pryor would make plays, whether a one handed INT or a monster hit, that would leave us speechless. While we knew he was special I don’t know that anyone grasp just how good Pryor may be. Upon arriving at Jets camp Pryor immediately started making an impact, so much so many people began speculating he could be moving into the starting role. ESPN has also taken notice and in Ashley Fox’s new article she makes the bold prediction that Calvin Pryor will be Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“Pryor’s head wasn’t spinning after his first minicamp. His mouth was running, yes, to the point that second-year quarterback Geno Smith quipped that Pryor had not earned the right to chirp. Yet.
But that is Pryor’s nature, and he is a perfect fit for the Jets. Pryor is, as Jets head coach Rex Ryan noted after selecting him, in the mold of Seattle safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas: big, brash, a vicious hitter with range, who is able to blitz from various spots on the field, and an enforcer for the back of the defense.
“It’s how we want to play defense,” Ryan said at the time, while noting: “Big hits still win games.”
“Pryor played three seasons at Louisville. He started the final seven games as a true freshman and developed a reputation as a hitter, hence the nickname “Louisville Slugger.” As a junior last season, the 6-foot-2, 208-pound Pryor knocked an opponent out of each game of a three-game stretch. He finished his collegiate career as Louisville’s all-time leader with nine forced fumbles. He also had seven interceptions.”
“It is inevitable that Pryor will make big hits. He should be able to create turnovers. He will make plays. And if Pryor does so from the jump, he should add another line to his résumé: NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.”
Whether Pryor wins ROY or not I think we all can agree the “Louisville Slugger” will have the best nickname in all of football.
The New York Jets announced on Monday that Calvin Pryor officially signed with the team. From ESPN.com:
Pryor signed the standard four-year contract, plus a fifth-year team option. Based on the rookie slotting system, his entire deal is worth $8.56 million, fully guaranteed. It includes a signing bonus of about $4.5 million.
Pryor was a surprise pick for the Jets. Many observers figured they’d pick a cornerback or wide receiver in the first round, but they began to target Pryor once the top corners and receivers were gone. He was the first safety off the board.
Head Coach Rex Ryan had this to say about Pryor:
“You talk about a passionate guy and the enthusiasm and everything else — you’ll see it. When he gets out there you’ll see it. But yeah, (he) will have a few wisdom teeth removed. So he’s going to miss a few days.”
With the recent news that running back Senorise Perry has signed with the Chicago Bears, that now makes 9 former Louisville Cardinals from last year’s team that are on NFL teams right now. Here is the tweet from Brad Biggs, who covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune.
Here is the updated list.
Calvin Pryor – 18th overall to the New York Jets
Marcus Smith – 26th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles
Teddy Bridgewater – 32nd overall to the Minnesota Vikings
The first night of the 2014 NFL Draft was the big one for the University of Louisville. On that night, three players were selected in the first round. Over the next two days, only one player was picked. However, there have been many free agent signings since the draft ended. Here is a list of the players that were either drafted or have signed as free agents. (As of 11:50 p.m. on Saturday night)
Calvin Pryor – 18th overall to the New York Jets
Marcus Smith – 26th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles
With the 18th pick in the 1st round last night in the NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Louisville’s Calvin Pryor. Pryor goes to the Jets, who are coached by defensive-minded Rex Ryan. He was the first safety taken in the draft and this should be a good fit for him. That gives the New York Jets four former Louisville Cardinals on their roster: Calvin Pryor, Bilal Powell, Breno Giacomini, and Johnny Patrick.
“This young man is an enforcer,” Ryan said. “You see how some of those kind of plays and hits can impact a game. All you have to do is look at the Super Bowl and the play of Chancellor and Earl Thomas.”
“There is a huge thing with his hitting ability,” Ryan said. “Big hits are going to win games. They’ll flip the momentum of a game faster than anything in my opinion.
It looks like the Louisville Cardinals will be very well represented in the green room on NFL Draft Day. Calvin Pryor has accepted an invitation to attend, joining quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The NFL generally only invites players that are expected to be drafted in the first round, and likely in the earlier part of that first round. Pryor could very well be the first safety selected. It will likely either be him or Alabama’s Haha Clinton-Dix (real name).
According to Sports Information Director Rocco Gasparro, Louisville is one of only 4 schools with multiple players accepting invitations to the NFL Draft at this point. The others are Alabama, Ohio State, and Texas A&M. It will be great to see the University of Louisville football program get that much exposure on draft day!
This week…..on 55…..
We talk Season Finale. Great season by Shoni as the Women’s Basketball run came to an end. Another era ended. We asked you what your Top 25 moments were of this season and you tweeted them to us. In a 2 week time frame that has felt like the worst time frame in our lives, was there a bright spot? Were there 2? Were there 3? (Shoni may agree) The Year Of The Cardinal may have some to an end but it’s not the end. It also wasn’t the only streak that ended this weekend. So here we go, here are the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week. This …..is the season finale of……55.
Here we go……….
1) On Tuesday night, the amazing career of Shoni Schimmel and the unforgettable season of the University of Louisville Women’s basketball team came to an end when they lost to Maryland 76-73 at home in the KFC YUM! Center. Shoni scored 31 points and added 5 steals and 4 assists while playing the entire 40 minutes. After a slow start to the 2nd half, Shoni erupted with back to back 3′s in the final 30 seconds and had a chance to tie it with one of the best drawn up and executed plays I have seen in my life. It didn’t go in. Asia Taylor added 12 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds. Antonita Slaughter scored 16. Thank you Seniors for the great ride and thank you Shoni as I am sure that your jersey will hang from the rafters one day, and this next picture that I’ve used several times this season will forever remind CardNation of what you are all about.
3) If only there was something Shoni could do within those next few days to lift her spirits and the spirits of CardNation…..
4) Oh Yeah
6) Shoni beat all of the ladies to win the women’s title, then beat men’s winner Brady Heslip to win the overall championship. Great day had by all…well except Oddysey
8) As @Slaughter_4 said……You mad?
10) Moving forward
11) On Thursday I asked you guys to send me your 2013-14 moment of the year so I could include them in this season finale. I got a lot of responses and I can’t include the duplicates but here are your top moments of the year.
-Teddy Bridgewater spoke to the media at the NFL Combine on Saturday. He said he thinks he is the best quarterback in the draft (well, yeah), he is NOT throwing at the combine, and he talks about his relationship with his mother. Check out the video below.
-There was a big deal made about the size of Teddy’s hands in comparison with other quarterbacks. All I say is…really? When they start making the footballs bigger in size, let me know. Until then, I am pretty sure he can still throw a football with those hands.
-Damian Copeland had an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.4 seconds. That is the 7th fastest time for wide receivers.
Here is the latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft from NFL.com’s Matt Smith. He also has Calvin Pryor going in the first round. Check out the rest of his first round here. The NFL Combine is this weekend in Indianapolis, IN and the Quarterbacks will workout on Sunday. The NFL Draft will be May 8-10.
DESOUTH CAROLINAWhile quarterbacks are valued higher by draft slot than on a vertical rankings board, Clowney is far and away the best prospect in the draft.
OTAUBURNI don’t suspect the Rams will be picking here, instead trading the selection to a team that wants either Clowney or a quarterback. But this is the player they want, and if not Robinson, wherever they land in the first round there are a few elite left tackles to choose from.
QBTEXAS A&MManziel said Russell Wilson did wonders for shorter quarterbacks and he’s right. Wilson was a first-round talent that got dinged for his height. That’s it. To think you’ll find another player like him in the third round is unrealistic. The Jaguars need a quarterback, and Johnny Football will do for this franchise what so many fans hoped Tim Tebow could. Difference is he can play the position considerably better.
QBLOUISVILLEI know Brian Hoyer is making the rounds and Mike Pettine is singing his praises, but the Browns need a FRANCHISE QB to plug into an offense that has talent. I suspect a free-agent running back like Ben Tate will be discussed, or perhaps Carlos Hyde with the second-round pick is an option. But Teddy would be a great fit.
WRCLEMSONThey can’t miss on a QB. When I interviewed Blake Bortles at the Super Bowl, I looked like a middle schooler next to him. He’s huge, but there is still a little too much risk for a team with so many holes. Watkins is a talent that helps the offense, special teams, and will have an immediate impact. He’s about as can’t-miss as you’ll find in this draft, save Clowney. They can get a QB project at the top of the second or third rounds and dip into the free-agent market for a stop-gap with that $53 million of cap space.
This week on 55………….
Time to take a deep breath in and out. This week on 55 I had planned to do a Teddy’s top play version of 55 seeing that he declared and we thought for sure that he was the only guy we would have to mourn this week. Clearly we were wrong. It’s OK though, don’t fret, I have decided to dedicate half to Teddy and half to all the people we have said “He Gone” to this week. When I first started saying “He Gone” it was as a harmless little joke. It has since taken a bigger spotlight in the past 10 days and I will pay homage to that. So once again I share with you the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week.
1) Teddy Bridgewater declared for the NFL draft on Jan 1st. Teddy is projected to be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft and will be sorely missed
2) We thought we will be ok without Teddy, Coach and Will can get us through this rough time
5) Calvin Pryor declared for the NFL Draft last Monday. He is one of the hardest hitting guys I have ever seen here. He is projected to go late first, early second round in some publications. Congrats CP3
8) Damian Copeland bypassed his 6th year of eligibility to go pro on Jan 2. I do not see any projections with him in it, but he is a consummate pro talent-wise and I do expect him to be playing on Sundays.
11) Let’s go to basketball for our He Gone-a-thon for a moment. Chane Behanan was booted off the team for conduct detrimental to the team and is currently in Houston getting help and rehab from renowned basketball figure John Lucas. Chane, we at CardinalSportsZone.com as well as all of CardNation wish you the very best.
This week…..on 55…..
We celebrated our birthday at CSZ (got 0 cake) and watched the Cards dominate their bowl game after falling a little flat during the basketball game. I really hope you guys love this feature. I really do do (hehe) this for you guys. If it’s a hit then awesome and if only 10 people see it (yeah right) then so be it. But alas, it is the time of the week I love, 55 time. As we say goodbye to 2013: The Year Of The Card and say hello to 2014, YOTC pt 2. Once again I share with you the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week.
1) CardinalSportszone.com turned 2 years old on Wednesday. Once again I couldn’t begin to tell Steve, Justin, & Daryl what this site means to me and how proud I am to call them teammates…..what a way to go out…..sorry Teddy flashbacks
2) 1 more year! 1 more year!
3) Hopefully CardinalSportszone.com will have many, many more years
4) I am gonna tackle football first. Saturday evening the Cards disposed of the Miami Hurricanes 36-9. Teddy Bridgewater threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score on Saturday night in the Russell Athletic Bowl. He threw for a career high 447 yards
5) Teddy come back…..
7) He gone
8) I digress
9) Junior wideout DeVante Parker had 9 catches for 142 yards and a TD. His 12th TD of the season ties Ibn Green’s 1998 mark and puts him just 5 away from Ibn’s career mark
10) DeVante come back…..
11) Kicker John Wallace outscored Miami by himself, threw a punch and laid the wood in a very eventful game for the kicker
12) Switching gears this also happened Saturday:
13) OK back to football
We now know what three members of the Louisville football team plan to do for next season. Calvin Pryor will declare for the NFL draft, while Lorenzo Mauldin and Dominique Brown will return to school.
Pryor is a junior from Port Saint Joe, Florida and is known as the hardest hitting player on the team. He had 71 tackles this season along with 3 interceptions. He recorded 6 tackles against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Previous position breakdowns
Today we continue the position breakdowns for the 2013 football season and focus on the Safeties!
6’1 179 lbs
If it feels like Hakeem Smith has been at UofL forever, well he pretty much has! He got here in 2009 and red-shirted. As a freshman in 2010, Smith did not start against UK in the first game of the season. He has started EVERY GAME SINCE! Yes, that is correct. He started the rest of the season as a freshman, and then started every game during his sophomore and junior seasons. This has led to Smith being a three-time All-Big East Selection! He was also named Big East Newcomer of the Year in 2010.
By Justin Renck:
ESPN released their All-Bowl Teams for the different conferences, and the Big East team is loaded with Cardinals! 7 members of the Sugar Bowl champions made the team. Here is the list! (All of the comments for the players came from Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com)