Taking it all in stride

GOIN’ EASY ON THEM — At the conclusion of the camp, Anthony Prior was challenged to a race by his pupils, Bryce Beard (left) and Mac Jeffers (right). Prior accepted the challenge, but never put the pedal to the metal. —Standard Radio-Post/Austin Eck

By Austin Eck —


Some people are just born fast. They have the natural ability to run faster than their peers.

Anthony Prior is not one of those people. At age 16, Prior finished in last place on his junior varsity track team.

One year, Don Corry, a speed coach and former Olympian, came to help Prior’s track team. Corry helped show Prior the proper running techniques.

“That was my point of ignition,” Prior said. “That was when I got it because he made it simple; he made it relevant and repetitious.”

With Prior’s newfound speed came confidence to compete, and he joined the football team. Playing football forced him to continue on his running technique and becoming better, he said.  

After high school, he received a scholarship from Washington State University to play football from 1988-1991.

While at WSU, he posted a 4.21 second 40-yard dash, a school record that has yet to be broken.

He also co-owns the longest kickoff return record for the school of 100 yards.

His speed and his ability to return kickoffs allowed him to be drafted by the New York Jets in 1992.

After his time with the Jets, he played two years with the Minnesota Vikings and a year with the Oakland Raiders. During his career in the NFL, he returned kickoffs for a total of 442 yards.

Prior played six years in the NFL, but his professional career did not end when his NFL career did. He went on to play five more seasons in the Canadian Football League.

In 2001, he played for the Calgary Stampeders and won the Grey Cup, the CFL equivalent to the Super Bowl.

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