Everybody knows about Demarkcus Bowman, the five-star running back from Lakeland, Florida, expected to enroll at Clemson this summer. But don’t forget about Kobe Pryor, the other talented running back the Tigers signed as part of their 2020 recruiting class.
Swinney compares Bowman to former Clemson great C.J. Spiller, who ran alongside James Davis from 2006-2008 as part of the duo that was dubbed “Thunder and Lightning,” with Spiller the Lightning and Davis the Thunder.
More than a decade later, Swinney believes Clemson will have a new Thunder and Lightning tandem in Bowman, the Lightning, and Pryor, the Thunder.
“Think about Double Thunder right here because Kobe, this guy is a powerful, relentless runner and is going to be an unbelievable duo right here with he and Demarkcus,” Swinney said. “A great young man. … Kobe Pryor, man, this is a man’s man. How can you not be great with a name like Kobe?”
Clemson running backs coach Tony Elliott and area recruiter Mike Reed teamed up to help the Tigers land Pryor out of Cedartown, Georgia, which is traditionally UGA recruiting territory.
Pryor comes from the same high school, Cedartown, that produced former Georgia and current Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb.
“First you’ve got to understand, you go into Cedartown, Georgia, that’s Bulldog Country,” Elliott said. “That is the home of Nick Chubb.”
Pryor recorded 1,471 yards rushing on 211 carries for a 7.0-yard average and added 25 receptions for 358 yards for 1,829 total yards from scrimmage as a senior in 2019, finishing the year with 12 rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and two on kickoff returns. He also completed 3-of-4 passes for 100 yards and two scores while tallying 33 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss with 4.5 sacks, on defense en route to Region 5A Player of the Year honors.
As a junior, Pryor had 721 yards rushing on 93 attempts for a 7.3-yard average. An all-around athlete, he played football, basketball and baseball over his career at Cedartown.
Like Bowman, Pryor is a summer enrollee.
“What I like about this young man is he’s so humble, such a hard worker,” Elliott said of Pryor. “If you notice the last couple of guys that we’ve had in the running back room that’s come out of a little small country town, they’ve just got an edge to them, and I think he’s a great compliment to Demarkcus. You’ve got Thunder and you’ve got Lightning. But this guy is very elusive as well for a big guy, catches the ball well out of the backfield, played some quarterback. So, I think that you guys are going to be excited about Kobe Pryor.”
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