Written by Greg Walker
Defensive back Tom Pridemore haunted opposing quarterbacks for three years from 1975-77. He recorded 15 career interceptions, which at the time, tied Bob Snider's school record.
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That mark currently ranks tied for third in WVU history. What's more impressive is that Pridemore returned those 15 interceptions for a school record 398 yards, an average of 26.5 yards per interception return.
Perhaps Pridemore's most memorable interception came on October 22, 1977, when he returned a pass 100 yards for a touchdown against Penn State to tie an unbreakable NCAA and school record.
He also had an 87-yard interception return for a touchdown versus Temple in 1975 and burned the Owls again for an 83-yard interception return in 1976. That play is the longest non-scoring interception return in school history.
WVU was 19-15 during the three years Pridemore started at safety and defeated North Carolina State 13-10 in the 1975 Peach Bowl. Pridemore played for Coaches Bobby Bowden (1975) and Frank Cignetti (1976-77).
He was chosen to participate in the 1977 Blue-Gray Bowl and was the winner of the 1977 Ira Errett Rodgers award.
The Anstead, W.Va., native was selected by Atlanta in the ninth round of the 1978 NFL draft and played eight years with the Falcons from 1978-85. He is also a former member of the West Virginia State Legislature.