- Johnny Esfeller
Student-Athlete of the Week: Soon-to-be Buckeye Isaiah Pryor never settles for 'good enough,' aspires for perfection
IMG Academy senior Isaiah Pryor is not one for many words, but when he speaks, people listen and he leads by example on the field and in the classroom. Isaiah enrolled at IMG Academy to fully prepare himself for the college level. The Georgia native has used his time well. During his time at IMG Academy, Isaiah has earned a stellar 3.8 GPA, and draws the highest praise from faculty and coaches for his leadership, originality and incredible attention to detail.
Isaiah is also lauded for his awe inspiring work ethic, which finds inspiration from his parents, Richard and Lillian. Both are in the medical profession now, but Richard, a former member of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team, was Isaiah’s first coach. During that time, Isaiah learned the importance of hard work, and that there is no such thing as good enough.
“The best advice I ever received was that you are never strong enough or fast enough,” said Isaiah. “I took that to heart and had that mentality in everything that I do. Whether it’s working out, class work, or even community service. I want to excel and lead by example.
Isaiah’s time at IMG Academy has yielded the soon-to-be Ohio State Buckeye many rewards. Academically, he is among the best in class. Athletically, he has gotten bigger, faster and stronger, and has emerged as an Under Armour All-American and as a finalist for the Watkin’s Award – awarded to the top African American scholar athletes in the United States.
“My parents are my biggest inspiration, but being accepted into IMG Academy was especially important to develop and grow as an individual,” remarked Isaiah. “It changed my life for the better.”
Isaiah is on pace to graduate early to enroll at Ohio State for the spring to get a head start on his college education. He is more than prepared for the academic rigors of college and has mastered time management to be able to balance school and sport. So much so, that Isaiah spends some of his free time to aid teammates with classwork and lessons whenever they need it.
“Isaiah has a genuine intellectual curiosity and welcomes academic endeavors and exploration,” said Head of School Chris Locke. “There is no teacher or staff member at IMG Academy that would offer a differing view.”
Chris added, “I cannot ever remember Isaiah complaining, shirking, or missing a deadline or obligation despite his schedule. According to his teachers, he never has an off day in their classroom; he consistently demonstrates a growth mindset and positive attitude.”
That attitude carries over to the gridiron. This season, the Ascenders finished with a perfect 12-0 overall record, and ranked No. 2 overall in most national polls. Isaiah was fifth on the team in total tackles with 54, and helped the Ascenders defense achieve a program best five shutouts on the year.
“Isaiah exemplifies everything I believe colleges and institutions are looking for today in regards to leadership and a strong work ethic to go along with a history of strong performance both in the classroom and on the playing field,” said Head Football Coach Kevin Wright. “He has worked very hard for us in his time here at IMG Academy. He has willingly embraced every challenge we have asked of him, on the practice field, in the weight room, and in the classroom.”
No doubt, Isaiah is going to excel at the collegiate level and continue to be a role model amongst his peers.
Until then, whenever Isaiah has time and isn’t honing his craft or completing assignments, he likes to visit the local beaches.
Get to Know Isaiah
- Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
- Parents: Lillian (mother) and Richard (father)
- Years at IMG Academy: 1
- GPA: 3.8
- ACT: 28
- Best Advice Ever Received: “You are never strong enough, you are never fast enough.”
- Biggest Influence/Role Model: My parents.
- Favorite Subject: Anatomy, because it’s the most interesting to me.
- Favorite Teacher: Ms. Lori Gubernat
- Student Clubs/Societies: n/a
- Hobbies: Since I’ve been at IMG, going to the beach.
- Sports Role Model: My father, because he made the most of his life through his sport.
- Favorite Athlete/Sports Team: Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys RB and QB). They’re the best duo in the game right now.
- Favorite Author/Book: The Giver
- Favorite Singer/Band: Nebu Kiniza
- Favorite Movie/TV Show: American Horror Story
- Favorite Actor/Actress: Leonardo DiCaprio
- Favorite Food: n/a
- Favorite Restaurant: Top China
- Coach: Kevin Wright, Adam Behrends
- Position: Safety
- Years in Football: 10
- Sport Awards: Two-time state wrestling champ (Ga.), Watkins Award finalist, Under Armour All-American
- Any records in your sport?: n/a
- Superstitions: None
- Twitter Handle: @D1Zay13
- Describe Yourself in One Word: Wild
- Editor’s Note: IMG Academy features a “Student-Athlete of the Week” award while class is in session. Students are nominated based purely on academic achievements and are chosen by a committee of educators from our boarding school.
Links to Past Winners for 2016-17 school year…
- Christian Pluchino (Football)
- Sean Kreiner (Soccer)
- Tyler Levine (Lacrosse)
- Lorena Lopez Miranda (Soccer)
- Serge Ushkevich (Baseball)
- Tim Bombeli (Soccer)
Links to Past Winners for 2015-16 school year…
- Jake Fauske (Baseball)
- Sebastian Derby (Boys Soccer)
- Jango Glackin (Football)
- Emily Chu (Golf)
- Mauricio Orozco (Tennis)
- George Prince (Lacrosse)
- Simar Bhatia (Girls Basketball)
- Cole Wells (Tennis)
- Anna Dovgopolyi (Tennis)
- Martin Jaramillo (Golf)
- Lutwin de Macar (Tennis)
- Teo Pollini (Soccer)
- Katarina Kozarov (Tennis)
- Mika Liu (Golf)
- Tanner Beachy (Baseball)
- Regan LaBelle (Girls Soccer)
- Gautham Mudireddy (Tennis)
- Leah Smith (Girls Soccer)
- Theo Tran (Tennis)
- Baron Carvel (Baseball)
- Ben O’Connor (Track & Field)