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Notre Dame Football

ISD Draft Diary | Troy Pride Jr. Part IV

April 25, 2020

Former Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr. started four years at Notre Dame and is off to prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft. Throughout the process leading up to the draft, Pride will logged diary entries and for his final one, he wrote a letter to those who have had an influence in his life. This is the raw letter:

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, throughout these 22 years, it surely has shown that I could not have made it with my support system and those in my corner that believed in me before anyone else thought of me.

Those long AAU track meets, tedious little league Taylors Falcons practices, backyard basketball matches, early morning walks to school, long nights at my dad's gym, arguments, disappointments, successes, etc. all made me the man that I am today and I sincerely want to say thank you.

First, thank you to my parents. Your endless support through all means truly guided me to the qualities that pushed me here. Qualities like "popping up" in little league, or discipline for track, being coachable, teachable, and being diligent truly stuck with me in every aspect of life that I can imagine. My parents are my confidantes, my role models, and my biggest motivators. They have done so much for my siblings and I. I can’t thank them enough and would not trade them for the world. I could not have done any of this without their lead and how they've set all of my siblings and I in a great position to succeed. We didn't have everything we wanted, but we always had each other and everything we need. Thank you for all the Facebook posts, the long road trips, and every penny you spent to help me achieve my dream. Pops, I even appreciate you mimicking my signature and how you think you still got it, it makes me go harder to prove you're over the hill. And Mrs. Angela Pride, I will even further get on your nerves even more so now. You help me to balance.

Next to my siblings; Brionah, Chance, and Trinity. Thank you to you knuckleheads for being there when you didn't have to or challenging me when I needed it. Every little moment we spent on a field, track, or otherwise helped to shape me to the athlete and man that I am. All the long nights and family meetings were so vital to us all growing up and being young adults. In a few words, I can only thank you for everything you've done for me. I love you guys even though I don't say that enough. There's not another group I'd want to go to war with.

Next, my amazing girlfriend Angela (Chichi) Frias, I've probably told you how much you truly mean a to me a lot, but I just want to thank you for your support, kind words, love, encouragement, support, tough love, jokes, laughs, and everything in between. Thank you for being my peace and always praying with me before our meals. I can't wait to celebrate with you very soon after all of this.

Finally, I want to list and mention all those that have been influential in my life and forgive me for leaving anyone off. First, my Big Momma, Jackie Pride, who I know is my guardian angel smiling down with my cousin Polly, my granny Sharon Smith, my aunties and uncles; Jeremy, Kimberly, uncle Terry, uncle Don, uncle Kevin, Auntie Mason, Auntie Charmaine, and uncle pencil. Then my old coaches; Coach Johnny Nesbitt, Coach Paul Kelley, Coach Erie Williams, Coach Todd Lyght, Coach Autry Denson, Coach Matt Balis, Coach Grimes, Coach Lewis, Coach Torrian Gray, Coach Shem, Coach Terry Joesph, Coach Ackerman, Coach Buckley, Coach Jen Nesbitt, Coach Pristilla Jones, Coach Alan Turner, Coach Clark Lea. Mr. and Mrs. Julie and Domingo Frias, Leigh Clement with my lil man Garren, Mrs. Brenda Rutledge, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Vicky Freeman, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Vicky Holland, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Sara Arndt, Mrs. Lindsey Beam, Mrs. Charlotte White, Adam Sargent, Kenny Thomas, Reggie Brooks, the entire Mack family, Teresa Gilmore, the entire Love family, my spiritual covering Pastor Gettis Jackson and Pastor Annita Jackson. All of my former teammates at Notre Dame, Greer, Riverside, Carolina Tarheels, Taylor Falcons, Greer All-Stars, Summer Thorpe, Naya Sharp, Emmalyse Daniels, Brianna Buckley, Monika Fanous, Tristan Whitted, Sebastian Naranjo, Jaryd Whitson, Jeremiah Bogan, Robert Wang, and of course Matt Freeman.

Team Pride is so much more than just us and I wanted to reiterate that. Once again, I apologize if I left anyone's name out, charge it to my head, not my heart. The village that raised me will forever be with me and I will always fight to make them proud. I'd be nothing without them. This is just the beginning and every day. I'll continue to work for every person that believes in me. With that being said, THANK YOU, I appreciate you. (P.S. hopefully my HOF speech is better).

- Troy Pride Jr. 

Part I
Part II
Part III 

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