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Running Back Evan Pryor Flashed All-Purpose Potential During Ohio State’s Spring Game

The redshirt freshman racked up 106 yards and one touchdown on 13 touches in his first extended appearance.

Evan Pryor played just 45 offensive snaps during his freshman season at Ohio State as the fourth-string running back behind TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and the now-departed Master Teague, 27 of which came late in the blowout win over Indiana.

But finally given an opportunity to display his skills over the course of four quarters in last month’s spring game, Pryor showed how the Buckeyes could have a three-headed monster in the backfield this fall.

“He's had a very good spring,” head coach Ryan Day said on April 16. “He can change directions in short areas, he’s good out of the backfield and he catches the ball, so he gives us a little wiggle in there, which is nice. It’s a little bit of a change of pace with the offense.

“If he continues to grow and he can hang onto the ball, then he’s going to have an impact on the offense this year.”

With Henderson watching from the sidelines after playing only the opening series of the game, Williams solidified his standing as his backup by rushing for a game-high 101 yards on 15 carries. 

But Pryor also made a strong case for playing time with his all-purpose effort, which included nine carries for 62 yards and one touchdown and four catches for 44 yards in 46 offensive snaps.

“I think we have three really good running backs, and we have a fourth coming in this summer in Dallan Hayden,” Day said. “It’s good. They’ve had a good spring and I feel solid about that.”

Naturally, it’s easy to wonder if there are enough carries to go around, especially with Henderson likely to begin the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Pryor believes they all complement each other, though, and added that he and Williams will step up to the challenge if and when called upon.

“I feel like today was a great day for that,” said Pryor, who shook off rumors of a possible transfer earlier this spring. “A lot of people see three running backs and they’re like, ‘Is there enough carries for them?’ Or, ‘Can they all three fit into the system?’ I feel like we all complement each other well.

“Throughout the season, you’ll be able to see that, as well. All three of us are going to eat and a have great season.”

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