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Prosise adds more versatility to slot receiver

Apr 17, 2013, 10:06 AM EDT

CJ Prosise

Getting to know the depth chart is a rite of passage for a young football player. But few get to know the depth chart like CJ Prosise.

Last season, Prosise joined the roster as a promising safety before taking reps at outside linebacker when Danny Spond got injured. Later in the year, he served as a scout team wide receiver, replicating Alabama’s wide receivers when giving the Irish defense a competitive look. For a young kid trying to get acclimated to college football, the multiple positions and challenges didn’t seem to faze Prosise.

“You work where they put you at and do the best that you can,” Prosise said last week. “Just get better every day.”

That flexibility has allowed Prosise to be one of the stories of the spring, as the six-foot, 220-pound rising sophomore has taken over the inside track at the slot receiver. With Davonte Neal leaving South Bend to be closer to his newborn daughter, the door has opened for Prosise, and the youngster has caught the eye of head coach Brian Kelly.

“It was pretty evident that he’s going to be a really good player,” Kelly said. “He just needs a lot more work.”

That work has come this spring, with Prosise one of the only healthy inside receivers on the roster. Perhaps just as important, it came before the season, in the run-up to the BCS Championship game. The look Prosise gave the Irish’s starting defense was good enough to convince the coaching staff that Prosise was worth a look on the offensive side of the ball. If it meant getting on the field sooner, it was okay to Prosise.

“That’s what I came here to do. To play,” Prosise said. “If receiver is the best opportunity for me to play, then I want to play receiver.”

It’s rare that a football player has the size and athleticism to play as divergent of positions as wide receiver and outside linebacker, especially in the Irish’s system. Prosise has also dabbled in the return game, with speed and strength that could work on both punts and kickoffs.

With the slot position being inhabited by all shapes and sizes this spring, including tight end Ben Koyack, it’ll be interesting to see how Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin use the position — especially with a physical, but raw presence like Prosise now an option.

One thing is for certain. It looks like Prosise will help the Irish offense sooner than later.

  1. yaketyyacc - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I better learn the name Prosise. got the feeling it’s going to be said with consistency over the coming season. the fact that it warrants the attention of Keith Arnold in a full article, indicates good things from PROSISE and Notre Dame.

    • dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Speaking of names, with last name like his, I can count on him to at least run a Precise route? Tell me more about him. Is he fast? Quick? Good hands? and does he like long walks on the beach?

  2. bernhtp - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Making the receivers – from diminutive Brown and Carlisle to larger ones like D Smith and Prosise to the TEs like Niklas – far more fungible, I expect the offensive playbook to significantly expand. For example, subbing Carlisle for Niklas will force defensive adjustments in scheme and maybe even personnel even though the offensive play call may not have changed. It will be an interesting head game to watch. I also expect to see more screens, more QB under center with play-action, and more delay runs relative to last year. Kelly/Martin want the opposing D to (try to) defend everything, all of the time, having a more-experienced Golson pick his spots.

    • dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Bern allow me to dumb it down for former drug addickts like myself. So basically what you’re saying is throw it down the field to tall guy and let him go get it, dump it or zip it to short quick guys and let him run with it. But if you’ve got a guy that can do both no matter what, just get the dam ball in his hands, EVERYWHERE?

  3. Goldy McGee - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    I think he’ll surprise defenses for the first few games and will quickly become the nightmare of opposing coaches. I’d love to see him be our first punt RETURNER in the Kelly era. Check the highlight video from signing day last year, the kid’s a beast!

    • dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      If he’s anything near golden Tate minus doughnut stealing, ill take it! Hell, ill take it even with doughnut AND coffee stealing.

  4. dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Tats a great pic and first impression btw…he doesn’t seem like a PNT type player.

  5. dudeacow - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    At the beginning of last year he was listed on the roster as the no. 2 kick returner… and as a linebacker. ND: the only team to have linebacker returning kickoffs. I suppose it matched that year’s mouth-punching philosophy, though.

  6. 25kgold - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Dan Fox, Nicky Baratti, Bennett Jackson, Amir Carlisle & Corey Robinson are out for the Blue-Gold game this weekend

    • dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      25k, don’t be such a fnc. At least they re not transferring.

  7. paulhargis53 - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    9 wins this year, tops. Last season was a mirage and they got punched in the mouth by a REAL conference. I’m not even a fan of an SEC team. Last season for ND was smoke and mirrors. That undefeated streak was built on beating mostly .500 & sub .500 teams.

    • gtizzo - Apr 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      What 3 games will ND lose? I would love to hear your reasoning with you current analysis being so off the mark. Your real name isn’t Mark May is it?

    • ibleedirish - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Including bowl games, Notre Dame’s opponent record was 99-69, while playing zero FCS cupcakes like most schools do. So, you are wrong but I suspect you know that. Everyone on here knows they overachieved and were fortunate to win some of their games. They also did things like crush Oklahoma at their place (statistically one of the hardest places to win in the country), so its just asinine to refer to 2012 as “smoke and mirrors”. Criticize all you want but kindly STFU until you at least have something accurate to say.

  8. domer77blowsgoats - Apr 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Prosey is going to be a beast

    Can’t wait to see TR take one look at the coverage, check us to the quick slant and watch this kid “blaze” – quite the rising freshman

    anyone think Hendrix should switch to safety?

    hope he doesnt “walk away” from ND like Neal – I’m telling you all there is much more to this story but can only share the rest at the gym – BYOS(soap)!!

    Oh how I yearn for the days of Ralph Guglielmi trying to hide his ND bias over the airwaves – was a helluva talent

    • andy44teg - Apr 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Don’t take the bait, Nudie!!

    • dickasman - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Lolololol….domer=bill Rees?

  9. thefightinfloyds - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Good to see, I’m rooting for this kid. Seems like he is willing to do whatever it takes to see the field. Can never have to many of these guys.

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Strong, fast, versatile, motivated… him anywhere you want, Coach.

  11. ndnapa - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Procise looks like the second coming of David Givens. Great move to receiver by Kelly, who doesn’t miss much at all.

  12. paulhargis53 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    9 wins, tops. Losses to Oklahoma, Stanford, and USC. Possibly Michigan.

    That pop in the face Bama gave you, obviously knocked some marbles out of your head.

    Smoke and mirrors, those “99-69” teams you beat included barely escaping wins vs. .500 teams.
    Your ND arrogance is nauseating.

    • ibleedirish - Apr 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      So you are going to count close games to Notre Dames detriment, but they get no credit for big wins? Seems like a logical argument. Name one undefeated or national championship team in the last 10 years that didn’t win a couple games they should/could have lost against lesser opponents on paper. I believe that’s why they bother to play the games smart guy. Was Auburn’s championship season smoke and mirrors? Every undefeated team needs some good bounces in the course of long season, that’s why they are rare. As I said, everyone here realizes we were fortunate last season. Your two posts are a joke and bring no rational points for discussion. Give up.

      By the way if you are new to the internet, the way to respond to a blog discussion is to press “reply”.

  13. paulhargis53 - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Its not rational to you because it doesn’t fit your argument. Your screen name says it all. You’re a complete homer with no sense.
    You can also save your condescension, I’m posting from a phone with no reply button, so you can go Gfy, ok?

    Mark it down, 8-9 wins tops.

    • ibleedirish - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Condescension. Judging from your previous posts, looks like someone pulled up the thesaurus app on their phone.

      Just to be clear, should I Go Go F Myself right after I use the Automated Teller Machine Machine?

  14. paulhargis53 - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I don’t care when you do it, just do it, Jimmy two times. Machine, machine.

    Have a nice weekend ibleedfrommyanus, I know I will.

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