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Ohio State's Evan Pryor Expected To Miss Season With Knee Injury

The second-year running back was set to have a role in the offense following a breakout spring game.
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As first reported by Rivals' Austin Ward and subsequently confirmed by BuckeyesNow, Ohio State redshirt freshman running back Evan Pryor is expected to miss the season with a "significant" knee injury suffered in Monday's practice.

The former four-star prospect from Cornelius (N.C.) William Amos Hough was third on the depth chart behind record-breaking starter TreVeyon Henderson and backup Miyan Williams, but was still set to have a role in the offense following a breakout spring game, when he rushed for 62 yards and one touchdown and caught four passes for 44 yards.

"Those guys all deserve to play," Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said on Aug. 5. "I've got to make sure they’re all ready to play because they all have shown the capacity and the ability to play winning football.

"If you show you can play winning ball, then we're going to find ways to put you on the field to help the football team to win ... You’d like to have an opportunity to have three or four guys that you can throw in and feel comfortable throwing them in the fire."

Pryor's injury leaves the Buckeyes with just three scholarship running backs in Henderson, Williams and freshman Dallan Hayden, as they also lost redshirt junior Marcus Crowley to a medical retirement back in May.

Ohio State could potentially turn to fifth-year senior walk-on wide receiver Xavier Johnson, who previously played running back, in hopes of adding some much-needed depth to the room. After all, he recently received praise from Alford for his willingness to do whatever is best for the team.

"'How fast can I get there, and tell me what you need me to do?'" Alford said of Williams' hypothetical response to another position change. "Then, he would come in extra and say, 'What have you put in that I don’t know?' … Let’s meet afterward, let’s meet early. It’s not even a question that he would do that. It’s a foregone conclusion."

The Buckeyes have three other wall-on running backs in sophomore Cayden Saunders and freshmen T.C. Caffey and Chase Brecht, but none have in-game experience at this point in their careers like Johnson.


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