December 9, 2016 - by
Orange Bowl Memory Still Brings A Smile To Former Nole Pryor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A few days before the 2013 Orange Bowl, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was doing a post-practice interview when his senior fullback walked by.

“Jimbo,” Lonnie Pryor said, making an exaggerated impression of a sports reporter, “What are you going to do to get Lonnie Pryor the ball?”

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Playing in his final game at Florida State, Pryor carried five times for 134 yards and two touchdowns on his way to Orange Bowl MVP honors in FSU’s 31-10 win over Northern Illinois.

That night marked the first BCS bowl of the Jimbo Fisher era. The Seminoles will make their fifth straight BCS/New Year’s Six appearance in the Orange Bowl against Michigan on Dec. 30.

Orange Bowl Memory Still Brings A Smile To Former Nole Pryor

“To go out that way, to be the Orange Bowl MVP, I still talk about that to this day,” Pryor said. “I wish I could go back and do it all over again.”

So much so that he even has the Orange Bowl logo tattooed on his right arm.

Pryor, of course, can’t suit up for the Seminoles any more.

But he is planning to be at Hard Rock Stadium when his alma mater plays the Wolverines later this month. It will be his first visit to the stadium since winning those MVP honors four years ago.

“I’m pumped about it,” Pryor said.

He’s also got some game plan advice for Fisher: Feed your fullback.

“Tell Jimbo to give Freddie (Stevenson) the ball in the Orange Bowl,” Pryor said with a laugh. “He might be another fullback to win the MVP.”

After four years, 1,097 total yards and 23 touchdowns at Florida State, Pryor had brief stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before announcing in September 2015 that he’d hung up his cleats for good.

Pryor, an Okeechobee native, now lives in Jacksonville, where he works as an account manager for TrueBlue, Inc.

Living in Jacksonville, Pryor says, is “pretty cool,” and it allows him to make frequent trips to FSU home games in Tallahassee.

The only drawback?

“I just wish I knew somewhere I could go hunting,” Pryor said.

Pryor’s legion of followers on social media are well aware of his hog-hunting adventures, along with his other endeavors and witty outlooks on life.

One of the first Seminole football players to actively interact with fans on Twitter, Pryor endeared himself to FSU faithful by sharing personal thoughts and photos, usually tinged with his wit and sense of humor.

It’s been four years since Pryor’s star turn in the Orange Bowl, but a quick glance at his timeline shows that he’s as active and engaged with the FSU fan base as ever.

And he said knowing he still has a place in their hearts means as much today as ever.

“You’ve got to be a true fan to know Lonnie Pryor,” he said. “But it’s definitely a blessing to go anywhere and still get noticed and be so loved.

“It’s a great feeling.”

Related Articles