2021 Ohio State Four-Star Running Back Commit Evan Pryor May Sit Out Senior Season In Protest Of Racism

By June 28, 2020 (10:33 am)Football
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After a series of racist messages and videos sent by a student at his high school were made public, Ohio State four-star running back commit Evan Pryor announced he will sit out his senior season if changes are not made at Cornelius (N.C.) William Amos Hough.

Pryor, who committed to the Buckeyes in March and has been one of the more vocal leaders in the nation’s top-rated haul, discussed the situation with The Charlotte Observer during the publication’s live streaming show, Talking Preps.

“I talked to my principal, the AD and a few of my coaches this morning,“ Pryor said. “We’ve met a few times since the tweet was released. They’re behind me 1,000 percent. We’re just trying to come together to think of solutions to stop this and to bring awareness to it and get progress moving in the right direction.”

Pryor noted he previously had a class with the student who made the remarks, but has not discussed the situation with him. His teammate, 2022 four-star defensive tackle Curtis Neal has, though, and is also willing to sit out the upcoming season if action is not taken against the student.

“If it gets to that point and there’s no change and it only gets worse, I’ll do what I have to do because at some point it has to end,” Pryor said. “We can’t just let this keep going on around the state. If it gets there, yes, I’ll sit out. Hopefully, in talking with my AD and principal, I don’t think it’ll get to that point. I think we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Pryor’s decision comes in the days after and is similar to several other high-profile athletes taking a stand against racism, including Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill and Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard.

Hill said he would not represent Mississippi until the state flag was changed, while Hubbard announced he would not play after seeing his head coach, Mike Gundy, wearing a controversial One America News shirt. State lawmakers have since voted to remove the Confederate symbol from the flag, and Gundy has also promised to make significant changes within his own program.

“I did see what Chuba did on Twitter, and I thought it was very effective because football is a huge sport in America, and everyone loves to watch it,” Pryor said. “If you’re a huge figure in the sport, I feel like people will support it. He was using his platform, and that’s something I’m trying to do right here.”

Pryor added that he’s received the full support of Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and running backs coach Tony Alford, as well as several of his fellow commits.

“(Alford) was just saying how brave it is of me to do this,” Pryor said. “They’re behind me 100 percent and praying for me because anything that happens like this to anybody, anything can happen. Just making sure that I know that I have the support of Ohio State, Coach Day’s support and everyone’s support. They think I’m doing the right thing by standing up for my people.”