After Evan Pryor injury, who does Ohio State have at running back?

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Heading into the 2022 season, Ohio State football will have to tweak its game plan for its running game.

The Dispatch confirmed Tuesday that redshirt freshman Evan Pryor suffered a knee injury in practice Monday and is expected to miss the 2022 season, leaving the Buckeyes with only three scholarship options and three walk-ons in the running back room.

It's the second injury the room has suffered this summer. In May, Ohio State lost running back Marcus Crowley, who medically retired after suffering another "significant injury."

With Pryor's absence, what does Ohio State's running back room look like? Here are the members that will get a chance to show what they can do in the offense this fall.

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TreVeyon Henderson returns with high expectations

Aug 5, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) carries the ball during practice at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 5, 2022.

There was no doubt as to who would be at the top of Ohio State's running back depth chart.

Last season, TreVeyon Henderson broke Maurice Clarett's school record for most touchdowns as a Buckeye freshman, ending his first season with 19 scores. He also recorded 1,560 all-purpose yards, averaging 7.4 yards per touch.

After finishing 2021 second-team All-Big Ten and as a freshman All-American, Henderson enters the 2022 season on the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to college football's top running back, and for the Maxwell Award along with wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and quarterback C.J. Stroud.

He is also a first-team preseason All-American by Walter Camp.

Miyan Williams secures second spot on Ohio State's depth chart

Aug 11, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes running back Miyan Williams (3) runs during football camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

While Henderson took charge of the starting running back role, Miyan Williams showed his potential in the No. 2 spot.

He averaged 7.3 yards each time he touched the ball with 508 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan State.

Standing at 5-foot-9, 225 pounds, Williams serves as more of a downhill runner as opposed to a versatile back that can be used in the passing game like Pryor would have been for the offense.

Dallan Hayden climbs up a spot on depth chart

From left: Dallan Hayden, Evan Pryor, and Jantzen Dunn of the Ohio State University football team check into the Hyatt Grandview on Sunday, August 8, 2022. They will stay in the hotel for 13 days during fall training camp.

With Pryor's injury, Dallan Hayden could have a chance to show what he can do in Ohio State's offense as a true freshman.

The four-star athlete out of Memphis, Tennessee was the No. 24 running back and No. 282 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class. Hayden's finalists were Illinois, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Utah before he picked the Buckeyes.

His father Aaron Hayden was a running back at Tennessee before playing in the NFL for four seasons, and his brother, Chase Hayden is a running back at Illinois.

In three seasons at Christian Brothers High School, Hayden recorded 4,433 yards on 567 carries, averaging 7.8 yards per touch and scoring 61 total touchdowns.

Hayden enrolled at Ohio State this summer has already impressed offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who said he popped a couple of impressive runs in the team's intrasquad scrimmage Saturday.

Three walk-ons round out depth in Ohio State's running back room

Aug 4, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes running back Cayden Saunders (26) runs a drill during the first fall football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Cayden Saunders is the only returning walk-on in Ohio State's running back room this fall. Hailing from Northville, Michigan, Saunders is the son of former Ohio State tight end Cedric Saunders, who played for the Buckeyes from 1990-93.

Ohio State also adds two walk-on running backs in 2022.

TC Caffey, out of Hubbard, Ohio, recorded 2,638 rushing yards as a senior with 37 rushing touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,659 rushing yards and 57 touchdowns in 39 games at Hubbard High School.

Chase Brecht, a Powell, Ohio native, played both running back and wide receiver at Olentangy Liberty and was named first-team All-OCC and second-team all-district as a senior.