Signed: Evan Pryor Brings Versatile Skill Set, Star Potential to Ohio State’s Running Back Room

By Dan Hope on December 16, 2020 at 7:17 am
Evan Pryor

After Ohio State missed out on its top running back targets in the recruiting class of 2020, Evan Pryor’s commitment to the Buckeyes in March ensured that wouldn’t be the case for the class of 2021.

Pryor became the first top-100 running back since 2018 signee Brian Snead to commit to Ohio State when he announced his pledge to the Buckeyes on March 16, giving Tony Alford an important win on the recruiting trail.

Less than two weeks later, Ohio State added another commitment from five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson, and Pryor’s been overshadowed a bit ever since. But he absolutely shouldn’t be forgotten, especially now that he’s officially a Buckeye after signing his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.

The Pryor File

  • Class: 2021
  • Size: 5-foot-10/190 lbs.
  • Pos: RB
  • School: William Amos Hough (Cornelius, N.C.)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: 81 (2 APB)

Ranked as the No. 81 overall prospect in the class of 2021, Pryor brings star potential of his own to Ohio State.

Timed as fast as 10.8 seconds in the 100-meter dash, Pryor has excellent speed and agility. Having played both running back and wide receiver at William Amos Hough High School (Cornelius, North Carolina), Pryor is a skilled pass-catcher out of the backfield who could also play some snaps in the slot. But he’s also a decisive runner between the tackles with the skill set to be a true feature back at the collegiate level.

Pryor, who will enroll at Ohio State in January, was unable to play his senior season at Hough High after North Carolina moved its high school football season to the spring. In his junior season with the Huskies, though, Pryor accumulated more than 2,000 total yards as a runner, receiver and kickoff returner.

While he’ll have to compete with Henderson, among others, to climb the depth chart at Ohio State, he had no qualms about the Buckeyes adding another top running back in his class, knowing Ohio State typically uses multiple running backs in its rotation anyway and that sharing the load in college could actually help him in his ultimate quest to play in the NFL.

“It’s not something that runs me away,” Pryor told Eleven Warriors earlier this year. “It’s actually something that attracts me more, the two-back system … It’ll definitely help me in the long run because you wanna get to that second (NFL) contract.”

When Pryor arrives at Ohio State in January, his first order of business will be getting bigger and stronger with the help of director of sports performance Mickey Marotti. Once he gets on the practice field in the spring, he’ll have to prove he can be relied upon not only as a ballcarrier and pass-catcher but also as a pass blocker.

That said, it’s a viable possibility that Pryor could contribute as a freshman. While Master Teague is expected to return as Ohio State’s starting running back next season, Pryor (along with Henderson) will immediately be one of the most talented running backs on the roster. He’ll also have to compete with Marcus Crowley, Steele Chambers and Miyan Williams to climb the depth chart, but his athleticism and receiving skill could add a different dimension to Ohio State’s running back rotation, and there will be an opening for playing time since Trey Sermon is a senior.

Pryor becomes the third recruit from North Carolina to sign with Ohio State in the last three years, joining defensive linemen Jaden McKenzie (2019) and Jacolbe Cowan (2020).

Photo: Twitter/@evanpryor3

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