The Hurry Up: No. 3 2021 Running Back Evan Pryor Discusses “prestigious” Ohio State Offer, R.J. Proctor Cancels Visit to Columbus

By Taylor Lehman on February 26, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Evan Pryor

The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Evan Pryor Reflects on OSU Offer

The No. 3 running back in the 2021 class, Evan Pryor, offers more than just his capabilities as a ball carrier. The high-school sophomore has already made the transition from wide receiver to running back in his young career. Granted that transition was made in middle school, Pryor still maintains his skills as a receiver at the running back position and has begun to brand himself as a tailback that can catch passes.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound back has caught 39 passes for 457 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first two seasons of high school football. 

“It’s been something I’ve been doing for a long time," Pryor said. "I used to play receiver. I caught onto running back around seventh grade, gained weight and started looking more like a running back. I see it as more of an advantage.”

That pass-catching ability hasn't taken away from his rushing production much in the first half of his high school career, as Pryor rushed for 914 yards as a sophomore and has compiled 1,441 rushing yards as an underclassman.

That dynamic option is one aspect of Pryor's game that Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said they liked about him as a recruit. But for Pryor, the interest form schools runs deeper than football.

“They talked about my skills briefly, just that I’m a great running back, one of the best in the class, but what they really talk about is my character," Pryor said. "They bring high-character guys into the organization. They told me it’s one of the big reasons they offered me. They talked to people around the school and around the community wanting to know what type of guy I was.”

Some recruiting experts are already predicting Pryor to commit to Penn State, but Pryor said the interest isn't as high as others have made it seem. His sister attends Penn State as a sophomore, and he frequently travels to State College, Pennsylvania, to visit her. Those visits consequently turn into unofficial visits for the Nittany Lions. Penn State is the school he's visited the most, but he's also traveled to NC State and Georgia.

That doesn't mean Pryor is uninterested in Penn State. He's developed some strong bonds with the coaching staff already.

“They’re kind of setting a family feel for me," Pryor said. about Penn State. "They look out for my sister. They keep in touch well. It’s been a place I’ve been able to go a lot, just going up there to see my sister and stuff.”

With an open recruitment, Pryor said his offer from Ohio State is "prestigious" to him, as the Buckeyes don't offer just any player, he said. He's been in contact with Ohio State for about a month and a half and plans to visit in the spring.

“I always had a dream of going to the NFL, so somebody that can help me go to the NFL," Pryor said about his ideal school. "But also after I hang the cleats up, a place that can help me outside of football. I want to major in sports marketing, so somewhere that can support me in the classroom.”

R.J. Proctor Out on Ohio State

Virginia graduate transfer offensive lineman R.J. Proctor told Eleven Warriors that he will not be making his visit to Columbus this weekend and is no longer interested in the Buckeyes as a landing spot for his final year of collegiate football.

The March 1 visit had been planned since early February. This news comes a day after Rutgers grad transfer offensive lineman Jonah Jackson declared his intentions to play at Ohio State in 2019.

Proctor recorded 12 starts in his final three seasons at Virginia and was on the field in 11 of 13 games in his last year for the Cavaliers. It wasn't much experience that he would have brought to Ohio State, but Proctor had more than many current Ohio State offensive linemen after four of 2018's starters graduated and left the program. Though, it was known that Ohio State would have taken just one of the two transfers, as they both play in the interior.

Jackson brings two years of starting experience to Ohio State, and he can play all three interior offensive line spots. He was also named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten last year.

Both offensive linemen were considered three-star recruits coming into college.

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