Apr 17, 2013, 10:06 AM EST
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.
Jan 30, 2015, 12:21 PM EST
Notre Dame welcomes safety prospect Arrington Farrar to campus this weekend. The Irish coaching staff finishes up a chaotic cross-country week visiting prospects both committed and interested (and some somewhere in between).
Jan 29, 2015, 1:37 PM EST
The ACC announced their 2015 conference football schedule. And the six dates with Notre Dame seem to take center stage.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:55 PM EST
Kendall Moore’s football career did not end as planned. The fifth-year senior never saw the playing field after being pulled from the team in August as part of an academic dishonesty probe that kept DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams out for the 2014 season — and school year — as well. (Eilar Hardy returned to the team in late October.)
Jan 28, 2015, 2:24 PM EST
Brian Kelly took a trip to Atlanta and made his in-home visit to see safety Arrington Farrar. Things went so well that Farrar decided to take his final official visit before Signing Day to South Bend.
Jan 27, 2015, 4:55 PM EST
Notre Dame strength coach Paul Longo has a new lieutenant. And he’s crossed enemy lines to join the Irish staff.
Jan 26, 2015, 11:26 AM EST
Notre Dame has a final need in their recruiting class. And over the weekend, they sold Louisiana safety Justin Reid that he could fill it.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:28 PM EST
A special Sunday delivery of the Mailbag. Let’s get to some questions.
Jan 25, 2015, 11:16 AM EST
Safety Eilar Hardy will finish his college football career elsewhere. After four seasons in South Bend, Hardy will earn his Notre Dame degree and be free to play out his eligibility in another program.
Jan 23, 2015, 1:04 PM EST
With less than two weeks to go before Signing Day, recruiting is the focus for the Irish coaching staff. But as we crack open the mailbag, we cover a bit more ground than the usual will-he or won’t-he that comes along with the first Wednesday in February.
Jan 22, 2015, 11:32 AM EST
One of Notre Dame’s long-time verbal commitments is no longer planning on joining the Irish’s 2015 recruiting class. Texas safety Prentice McKinney took an official visit to North Carolina last weekend and flipped his commitment to Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels on Wednesday, dropping Notre Dame’s recruiting class down to 22 players and just two safeties.
Jan 21, 2015, 9:51 PM EST
Can we follow up last week’s excellence with another solid week of questions? Drop them below or @KeithArnold.
Jan 21, 2015, 1:43 PM EST
While the Irish coaching staff traverses the country taking in-home visits, Notre Dame’s staff is close to putting the finishing touches on a stellar recruiting class. The additional of Aliz’e Jones pushes the Irish into a consensus Top 10 class — quite an accomplishment considering this was supposed to be a smaller group.
Jan 20, 2015, 12:29 AM EST
Star-crossed Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels’ career with the Irish is over. After two seasons and two significant suspensions, Daniels decided to forgo any additional eligibility he has at the college level and turn professional.
Jan 19, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Say this for Brian Kelly. He learns from his mistakes.
And after losing Stephon Tuitt and Troy Niklas after just three seasons in South Bend, Notre Dame’s head coach made sure he had a final say before Ronnie Stanley and Sheldon Day made their stay-or-go decision.
Jan 19, 2015, 1:44 PM EST
KeiVarae Russell gives a promising update on his future in South Bend via (where else?) social media.
Jan 16, 2015, 1:04 PM EST
Lots to discuss in our Friday mailbag. Position changes, 85 scholarships, Reggie Ho and more.
(Collective thumbs up to all of you.)
Jan 15, 2015, 2:51 PM EST
After being committed to UCLA for months, Las Vegas tight end Alize Jones has flipped his pledge to Notre Dame. The bluechip recruit is widely acknowledged to be the best tight end in the country and plays high school football with current Irish commit Nicco Fertitta at Bishop Gorman.
Jan 15, 2015, 2:19 PM EST
The first College Football Playoff is over. And with less than three weeks to go before National Signing Day, the dead period has ended and the home stretch in recruiting has begun.
Jan 14, 2015, 10:45 AM EST
There’s plenty to talk about. Have a question? Drop it below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Jan 13, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Notre Dame junior Ronnie Stanley announced Tuesday that he will return for his senior season, giving the Irish one of the best left tackles in college football for another season. After being projected by some as a first round pick, Stanley made the decision to return for 2015.