The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about all of them. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2018 season.
#5 Troy Pride Jr.
It comes down to the dilemma as old as football itself: raw talent vs. understanding of the game. This is the issue with Troy Pride. He has all the talent and ability to be the best cover corner on this Fighting Irish roster, bar none. He combines a sprinter’s speed with more than adequate length, he simply needs to put it together in regards to the mental aspect of the game.
His physical potential is incredible, and the staff has continued to try to maximize it. 2018 will likely be a crossroads year for Pride, where he either greatly improves or stagnates. He wasn’t always a starter in 2017, and he isn’t guaranteed the starting spot coming into this new season. If he does manage to put himself in a position to start, though, watch out. Troy Pride could be a nightmare for opposing offenses.
3 Things To Know About Troy Pride
- Pride is not only a superb talent on the football field, but he’s a star sprinter as well. He ran a 6.73 second 60 meter at the ACC indoor Track and Field Championships.
- As suggested earlier, the only thing holding Pride back is the mental side of the game. He lined up wrong and gave up a big play against Stanford, but also helped lock down LSU on their final drive.
- His career as a punt returner has been lackluster thus far, to say the least. His career high according to und.com is a staggering -2 yards. For transparency’s sake, only one return is listed.
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Country, Condiment, or Canon
Identifying the player as either a country, condiment, or member of the Star Wars Canon.
Tabasco Sauce. Troy Pride is unequivocally, without a shadow of a doubt, Tabasco Sauce. He is a condiment with spicy, tantalizing potential. He doesn’t necessarily fit in with every scenario, however. He needs a little help to fully realize his potential, but the hypothetical possibilities are mouth-watering. Given the proper food pairing (Julian Love?) Troy Pride could be an extremely valuable and effective component of the dish that is Clark Lea’s defense.
As touched on above, 2018 serves as a bit of a crossroads year for Troy Pride. This season will serve as his best opportunity to make a move up the depth chart. He has that undeniable athleticism that bodes for a promising future, but he must get the playbook down. If he can do that, he will most certainly become an integral part of this defense and likely have a substantial role within the system.
I expect Pride to do exactly that this season. It may not be a perfectly smooth transition, and it may not always go as planned, but the progress will be made. He will end up as the starter opposite of Julian Love come September 1st. While I doubt he will match up to the level of Love, but Pride will have a solid season and set up for a second consecutive “crossroads” season in 2019.