COLUMBUS, Ohio — The focus offensively throughout spring ball for Ohio State has been on replacing a key veteran at tight and and building chemistry on the offensive line now led by new offensive line coach Justin Frye. The Rose Bowl provided a glimpse of what the young Buckeye receivers including Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka could do to fill the shoes of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. There’s been no questioning the depth of the wideout room.
But Saturday’s Spring Game showed that the running back room is also in great shape and could be a big boost for the Buckeye offense with three solid running backs that complement each other well.
Ohio State returns starting running back and sophomore star TreVeyon Henderson. Behind him is key contributor Miyan Williams who complemented Henderson and gave the Buckeyes a great one-two-punch last season.
But in the spring game, the backup running backs were all impressive. They showed that not only do they provide stability in having returning players at the position, but that the depth and versatility of the running back room can be a strength for the Buckeyes this upcoming season.
Though the game didn’t feature much of the 1s in the second half, behind Henderson, Williams and freshman Evan Pryor put on a show. Both Williams and Pryor averaged almost seven yards per carry in the spring game.
Evan Pryor showed that he is more than deserving of some touches for himself this season despite a crowded room. He made impressive plays both on the ground and in the air on Saturday.
“I do, I think we do have three really good running backs,” Day said when asked if he feels like he’s leaving the spring game with three running backs they can win with. “I feel solid about that.”
Pryor completed the spring game with 62 yards and one touchdown on nine carries, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. On the receiving end, Pryor had four completions for 44 yards with his longest coming from a play where Pryor got wide open on a wheel route for a 35-yard catch from freshman quarterback Devin Brown.
“He’s had a very good spring,” Day said of Pryor following the spring game. “He has a lot of wiggle, he can change direction in short areas, and he’s good out in the backfield you can see he can catch the ball. He gives a little of a 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 if he can hang onto the ball, he’s going to have an impact on this offense this year,” Day said.
Williams racked up 101 yards on 15 carries for an average of 6.7 yards per carry on Saturday and is no doubt going to be a major piece of the Ohio State offense again this upcoming season.
Even though there are a limited number of touches, the running backs are all confident in what they bring to the Ohio State offense and how they complement each other.
“A lot of people see three running backs and think ‘Are there enough carries for them?’ Can they all three fit the system?’ and I feel like we all complement each other well,” Pryor said after the spring game.
“Throughout the season, you’ll be able to see that as well. All three of us are going to eat and have great seasons.”