Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national scene has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon, as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: Dec. 16 and Jan. 20 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, Jan. 6 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and Jan. 13 at Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes Benz Stadium.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps now it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
Troy Pride from Greer (SC) takes center stage in this space. As a member of the Class of 2016, he was named Defensive MVP with two interceptions, one a 60-yard touchdown return, as Grey defeated Blue, 28-14, at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field.
It’s been more of the same ever since. Only nowadays, the 5-foot-11 and 194-pound senior defensive back is making headlines at Notre Dame. In fact, Pride & Co. will be back in action against Navy on Nov. 16 in a nonconference game at 7 p.m. (EST).
Coming off what many consider a signature performance, he finished with six tackles, three solo stops, and an interception in a 38-7 nonconference victory over Duke. The effort shouldn’t come as a surprise given the production during his stint in Fort Bend (IN).
A four-year contributor, Pride ended up with 47 tackles, 37 unassisted, as a junior with 10 pass deflections, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Prior to that, he delivered 22 tackles, 14 unassisted, two pass deflections and an interception as a sophomore.
Worth mentioning, Pride played quite a bit as a freshman, not necessarily an easy task when considering the competition at Notre Dame. Now, in terms of the future, all signs point to him being taken in the early-to-mid rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Several members of the Blue-Grey Football family thought that he was destined to play on Sundays, namely NFL veteran Mark McMillian. “Pride was the best player on the field during the brand’s All-American Bowl in Florida. He has a bright future,” he said.