Calvin Pryor Ready to Make it in the NFL

Cortland, NY---Before he wore green and white, he dressed in purple and yellow.

Before the NFL knew who he was, he was a household name in the Panhandle.

Cortland, New York is a 1250 mile trip from Port St. Joe, Florida, but Calvin Pryor always carries home with him.

"They love me and I love them back," says gang green's first round pick. "It's where I was raised there, that's my stomping grounds. It's the place I call home. So, I'm just enjoying my time up in New York but I know I always have a home to go back to and people who are going to accept me for who I am."

Calvin's road to the NFL began in his small hometown, a quiet community right off the Gulf with just two stoplights. But his talents have taken him from the Joe, all the way to the city. New York City. But before the Jets first round pick can shine on Broadway, he's got to earn his stripes upstate at training camp.

"I'm soaking every bit of it in because it doesn't last forever," says Pryor. "I have so much love for the game, just being able to enjoy the game and come out here and compete every day and just work as hard as possible to get the job done."

That work ethic, that will, it's the exact reason the Jets wanted Calvin.

Jets' GM John Idzik knows the pressures and expectations of being a first round pick won't throw off Calvin

"Well (as) a rookie it's tough no matter where you're drafted and how you come into this league," says Idzik. "Some guys gain the benefit of (being drafted in the) first round and in some ways that can be a little tougher. Calvin is a quick study. He showed that to us through the process before the draft. He is a football guy, and that is thrown around a bit loosely sometimes. I would expect him to just continue to progress. We're very happy with the way he has come in."

Head coach Rex Ryan loves Pryor's game. Returning starters Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen are still with the team, but is Calvin a shoe-in to start?

"I don't know about that," says Ryan. "I just know he'll be playing an awful lot whether he's a starter or a whatever. He's going to play a bunch. He plays with confidence and sometimes as a rookie there are some guys that will jump out there and their heads are spinning and there's no confidence. He's just the opposite. He knows that he belongs and you sense that there's a calmness out there."

That's because Pryor has waited his whole life for this moment. Now that he's got a hold of it, he's ready to run with it.

"Man, there's no better job than playing in the NFL. Your expectations and your standards are held to a much higher degree when you play in the NFL. But that's what comes along with it. Many people don't get this opportunity. A lot of people wish they were in our shoes. So I don't take anything for granted. I love what I do for a living and hopefully I can continue to do it for a long time.

As the Jets continue camp in Cortland, all is quiet at MetLife Stadium. If you can make it here, New York City, the NFL, from small town Florida... Calvin Pryor is ready to prove he can make it anywhere.


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