Evan Pryor has committed to Ohio State, and out the window goes any potential running back drama for the Buckeyes that hung around for the entire back half of last year's recruiting cycle.
All glory to God !!— Evan Pryor (@evanpryor3) March 16, 2020
1000% C O M M I T T E D pic.twitter.com/8EVnYZekMK
After it took Ohio State until nearly December to land a running back in the 2020 class, the Buckeyes will no longer have to worry about a potential shutout as the four-star Pryor out of William Amos Hough (N.C.) High School becomes the third player in the last three classes to come to Columbus by way of the Tar Heel State (Jaden McKenzie in 2019; Jacolbe Cowan in 2020).
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Pryor becomes the ninth top-100 recruit in the Buckeyes' 2021 class, and the No. 6-ranked RB in the country instantly brings stability to the backfield recruiting.
The Pryor File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 5-foot-10/190 lbs
- Pos: RB
- School: Williams Amos Hough (Cornelius, N.C.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 6 RB
Pryor had previously been to Columbus in the summer of 2019, growing a fondness for the people in the city (and for the chicken wings at Roosters), but he and his father returned to campus on Nov. 23, driving up at 3 a.m. from Cornelius, N.C. to arrive to the Buckeyes' win over Penn State just before kickoff. That visit helped Pryor continue to build an already strong relationship with Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford and some of the other staff.
In November, when he had only visited for the summer at that point, Pryor told Eleven Warriors that the Buckeyes impressed him with "just the whole family environment. ... It was just great having the whole coaching staff know me. And on top of that, seeing what they do in the NFL and what J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague is doing, it’s great. And seeing what Ohio State has to offer was good."
Therein lie the two main reasons Ohio State has landed one of the best running back talents in the country.
Alford's strategy to land Pryor wasn't much of a sales pitch. It was more akin to real-life talks, telling Pryor that no matter where he goes, “it's not just a four-year decision. It's a 40-year decision,” Pryor said of what Alford told him.
Alford told Pryor to “just come to the university where everything’s done right. Not just on the field but in the classroom. ... Just saying how they’re building men, not just football players. I liked the pitch.”
Pitted against Pryor's other top options of North Carolina and Georgia, in addition to LSU, Penn State, USC and Oklahoma, the Buckeyes pulled off a big win here. Their biggest competition, in the end, was North Carolina and Mack Brown's surging program that is so heavily focused on keeping players in-state.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITTMENT|
|JACK SAWYER||DE||No. 2||No. 2||FEBRUARY 3, 2019|
|KYLE MCCORD||QB||No. 22||No. 3 (PRO-STYLE)||APRIL 30, 2019|
|JAYDEN BALLARD||WR||No. 71||No. 12||JUNE 21, 2019|
|BEN CHRISTMAN||OT||No. 106||No. 15||JUNE 26, 2019|
|REID CARRICO||LB||No. 73||No. 2 (ILB)||SEPTEMBER 10, 2019|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||No. 57||No. 8||OCTOBER 31, 2019|
|SAM HART||TE||No. 387||No. 16||DECEMBER. 30, 2019|
|JAYLEN JOHNSON||S||No. 344||No. 17||JANUARY 7, 2020|
|DONOVAN JACKSON||OG||No. 36||No. 1||JANUARY 8, 2020|
|MIKE HALL||DT||No. 92||No. 8||FEBRUARY 1, 2020|
|JAKAILIN JOHNSON||CB||No. 59||No. 4||MARCH 15, 2020|
|DEVONTA SMITH||CB||No. 428||No. 32||MARCH 16, 2020|
|EVAN PRYOR||RB||No. 85||No. 6||MARCH 16, 2020|
Pryor gave serious consideration to staying home with Brown, running backs coach Robert Gillespie and the Tar Heels. But he is already close with most of the Buckeyes' 2021 commits, and he will be in line to be one of the lead backs, as Ben Christman and Donovan Jackson will be opening up holes for one of the nation's best runners and pass-catching backs.