One of the Auburn football players who caught my attention during spring practice is a big fullback named Jay Prosch, a transfer from the University of Illinois.
I think he has a chance to be a key part of Auburn’s offense this fall if he is cleared to play. He has applied for a waiver of the NCAA transfer rules because he made the move to be closer to his mother in Mobile, who is ill.
Goodness knows, the NCAA has to grant Prosch his waiver to play this year considering the circumstances of his move. The coaches at Illinois understood the reason he needed to leave and did not object to the transfer to Auburn even though he was an outstanding player in the Big 10 the last two years.
From what I saw I think Prosch can have as big an impact on the offense as any one individual out there. He brings a great physical aspect to the game with his aggressive, hard-nosed approach to football.
Jay Prosch is shown at spring drills.
From what I have seen and what I have been told, he is fitting in nicely with his new teammates and is showing a great work ethic on the field and in the weight room. He has won respect from his coaches and teammates. Every aspect of this guy’s behavior since he got to Auburn in January has been positive for the Tigers.
Watching the big fullback, he could give the 2012 Tigers something I haven’t seen in an Auburn football team in a long time. Going to back to when I came to Auburn in 1981 there have been a lot of good fullbacks, but no really good fullbacks with that much size. Prosch is bigger and stronger than Tony Richardson, Brandon Johnson or Reid McMillan, several of the fullbacks fans will remember who did a good job for the Tigers.
Tommie Agee was a great blocker for us in the 1980s, but he was not a big fullback. He didn’t weight but 215 to 220 pounds. More recently, Jake Slaughter was certainly a tough fullback with good size, but Prosch is bigger than all of them at around 250 pounds, and he has the “knack.”
When I say he has the “knack” I mean he has the ability to find the right guy to hit. A lot of times you will see fullbacks go into the line of scrimmage looking for their guy to block and they just never find them. This guy Prosch not only finds them, he has got a knack for staying on them. And, when he hits somebody, he does it with authority.
If Prosch is eligible to play this fall, look for new offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler to take advantage of the big back’s blocking skills when drawing up game plans this fall. He won’t be carrying the football very often, but he can clear a path for the guys who do.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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