With hundreds of his closest friends watching from Marina Cove in Port St. Joe, former Tiger Shark Calvin Pryor “Third” was selected in the first round of the National Football League draft last Thursday.
Pryor was the first safety off the board, going No. 18 to the New York Jets.
Draft night was a celebration at Marina Cove outside the Haughty Heron where tables and chair were set up to handle the large crowd that gathered to watch the draft.
The gathering was part pep rally and community support for a native son who was reaching the pinnacle.
“From the Pryor family we just say thank you for all the support and well-wishes from the community,” said Pryor’s father, Calvin Pryor, Jr. “The donations, the support, the phone calls and notes of support meant so much to the family.
“We also want to thank the Haughty Heron and everybody who turned out. The support was so appreciated.”
By the following day, Third was touring the New York Jets facility and sitting for countless interviews with the New York media.
The media seemed particularly interested in the journey of a young man from a town “with two stoplights, I think” to the physical safety who loves to proclaim that he plays “like his hair is on fire.”
The New York Times centered on Pryor’s play as a point guard in high school, from which he graduated just three years ago, who is now a physically-intimidating all-American safety.
Pryor spent this week attending rookie orientation, his father said.