Fuller Combine
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Fuller blazes with a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash


Will Fuller hoped to run a 4.35. He bested that. Fuller was the fastest wide receiver on the field today, blazing his way to an official 4.32, just one-hundredth of a second off the best time in Indianapolis this year.

Here’s video of Fuller’s blazing run.

Fuller was also smooth catching the football in on-field drills on Saturday, adding to a very nice weekend for the former Irish star.

Prosise blazes with a 4.4 forty at the NFL Combine

Notre Dame running back C.J. Prosise (20) runs past Georgia Tech defensive back Jamal Golden (4) for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Notre Dame defeated Georgia Tech 30-22. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The NFL may have added a few hundredths of a second to C.J. Prosise‘s 40-yard dash. But even if the reports of a 4.40 turned into a 4.48, the former Notre Dame running back certainly opened some eyes with his speed in Indianapolis.

Those that have watched Prosise the past few years certainly saw this coming. Whether it was running away from LSU in the Music City Bowl or the handful of game-breaking touches he had in 2015, Prosise’s speed was always such an intriguing part of the 220-pounder’s game. Now stacked up against top backs like Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott, Prosise more than held his own.

Prosise’s big day also included a 35.5-inch vertical leap and 121-inch broad jump, besting Elliott in both categories but finishing behind Henry. Prosise will wait to bench press until Notre Dame’s Pro Day, giving him more time to let a shoulder heal that’s still not 100-percent since injuring it against Pitt.

Fuller ready to run

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 14: Will Fuller #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on November 14, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 28-7. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Will Fuller‘s been center stage as the discussion focuses on who the fastest man is in Indianapolis. Now the former Notre Dame speedster is just ready to go out and run.

Talking during media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine, Fuller talked about his hopes for the 40-yard dash, and how fast he plans to go.

“4.35 would be real good for me,” Fuller told Irish247. “That’s what I’m shooting for.”

Fuller went through the cattle call on Thursday, coming in close to his specs at Notre Dame—6’0″ and 186 pounds. While his hands (8.25″) and arm length (30.75″) skew smaller than most, Fuller was what scouts thought he was, to borrow from former NFL coach Dennis Green.

After pledging his return to Notre Dame midseason, Fuller talked about the decision to head to the NFL after his junior year anyway, acknowledging that the slew of injuries that hit the team played a part in his thought process.

“Just looking at the year we had, a lot of injuries,” Fuller told Irish247. “I’ve had a healthy career, and I just want to get out of there while I was healthy. Still put up some good numbers this year, so I think I left at a good time; healthy and no injuries.”


Another potential position change factored into Prosise’s NFL decision

C.J. Prosise

C.J. Prosise‘s position switch to running back was a breakthrough in 2015. But uncertainty about whether he was going to stay there factored into his decision to head to the NFL.

With Notre Dame’s top three receivers graduating and Corey Robinson‘s status with the team also in doubt, Prosise decided that the timing was right to head to the NFL after a big 2015 season. In his media availability during Day One of the NFL Scouting Combine, Prosise discussed the thought process, first citing the fact he’s set to earn his degree this spring.

“I’m going to get my degree in May,” Prosise told a group of reporters. “That’s kind of the main thing, getting that out of the equation. For me, it’s kind of a decision I thought between me and my family I thought that was the best decision.”

But worries about the depth chart seemed to be a bit of a head scratcher. Prosise was one of college football’s most dynamic playmakers at running back the first half of the season, dominant until a string of injuries—concussion, shoulder separation and a high-ankle sprain—ruined his productivity. Yet the 220-pounder said his positional flexibility, surely an asset to the teams interested in drafting him, also factored into his decision to head to the NFL now.

“Getting moved around a lot from position to position, I never really knew where I was secure at. I felt like it was the best decision for me,” Prosise said.

Irish 247’s Nick Ironside’s string of Tweets better uncovers the thought process that Prosise described on Tuesday that he says weighed into his decision. It’s a surprising revelation, even considering Josh Adams’ record-setting freshman season and Tarean Folston‘s return from an ACL tear in the season opener.

Prosise plans to participate in the 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump in Indianapolis before testing in more events at Notre Dame’s Pro Day. Prosise’s current draft stock has prognosticators believing he’s bunched among the second flight of backs behind Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry.

Former Irish players ready for their NFL closeup

Chris Milton, Will Fuller
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Combine-mania is upon us. The annual meat market is the perfect marriage of football, with proud college fans watching their recently departed stars chase their professional dreams, as rabid NFL fans hope rookie X or Y will be the difference between 9-7 and the Super Bowl.

Notre Dame has 10 former players getting poked and prodded in Indianapolis, with Nick Martin, Ronnie Stanley and C.J. Prosise the first to go on Wednesday. And with some of the most intriguing prospects in the draft pool, let’s get up to speed on public perception heading into the underwear olympics.

Jaylon Smith might be in the first phase of his knee recovery, but he hasn’t lost any fans. ESPN’s Mel Kiper said he could be the draft’s best player if healthy. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock echoed those sentiments, per CSN Chicago’s JJ Stankevitz.

“This kid is so good that if his medicals are good, you have to take a big-picture look at him; by that I mean two years from now. You might have one of the two, three, four best linebackers in football. You might have to wait a half-season for him. I’m sure every team is going to have a different answer to that… But if he has a clean medical and it says you’re going to get him for a half-season and then he’s going to be fine, then yeah, I think you pull the trigger on a kid like that.”

Ronnie Stanley has his share of fans, and will likely only add to him when he displays his athleticism this week. The NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks has Stanley ranked only behind Ole Miss’s Laremy Tunsil at offensive tackle, comparing him to All-Pro Ryan Clady.

Here are Stanley’s strengths, according to Brooks:

Big, athletic offensive tackle with light feet and exceptional movement skills. Stanley not only has the requisite physical tools to shine as a pro, but he has a combination of size, length and athleticism few offensive tackles can match on the perimeter. Measuring 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, Stanley is a natural left tackle with the balance, body control and lateral quickness to mirror shifty rushes on the edges. He displays one of the best kick-slides you’ll see from a young player, which allows him to neutralize pass rushers with explosive first-step quickness. Stanley shows exceptional strength and anchor ability stopping rushers on bull-rush attempts. As a run blocker, Stanley is an athletic “people mover” at the point of attack. He knocks defenders off the ball and displays the competitive grit coaches covet when finishing blocks. Considering Stanley’s experience on both edges (26 starts at left tackle; 13 starts at right tackle) and his high football IQ, the Notre Dame standout is a transcendent top-five talent capable of earning honors early in his career.

Meanwhile, Will Fuller might be the biggest wildcard at the combine. Predicted by some to be the fastest man in Indy, it takes just one team to fall in love with Fuller to boost the range of predictions that have him being drafted anywhere from the second to fourth rounds.

The fashionable comp this week has been comparing Fuller to Carolina’s Ted Ginn. The former Ohio State speedster was a top-ten pick out of Ohio State, but has struggled at the NFL level with inconsistency (hands, effort, etc). Yes, Fuller’s drops have been well documented—especially here. But for me, the apples to apples comparisons end here.

(Plus, I don’t remember a big game where Fuller ran out of bounds instead of fighting for yardage, like Ginn did in the Super Bowl.)

While Smith and KeiVarae Russell aren’t participating in workouts, C.J. Prosise is back in action after injuries ruined the second half of his season. Prosise will likely open some eyes with his speed this week, and depending on the evaluator is somewhere between a mid-to-late round pick and perhaps something earlier.

Mel Kiper’s a believer.

Mike Mayock thinks there’s a fit just north in Detroit, where Prosise would potentially join a backfield with former Irish teammate Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah.


Quick Hits: 

Expect Chris Brown to light things up at the combine. Notre Dame’s No. 2 receiver is a perfect fit for the testing environment, and should blaze in the 40-yard dash.

Even if Sheldon Day doesn’t have a “breakout” combine, the game tape he put together in 2015 is just too good for Day to slide deep into the draft. He finished the season as PFF_College’s No. 1 interior defensive lineman in a 4-3 scheme.

I’m excited to see the reaction to teams meeting KeiVarae Russell. You’ve got to expect someone will fall in love with him after sitting down to chat. Russell is a third rounder according to a way-too-early mock draft at NFL.com.

Nick Martin has a chance to be the first or second center off the board. He also benefits from the early success of not just his brother, All-Pro guard Zack Martin of the Cowboys, but the early success of Chris Watt in San Diego. Harry Hiestand’s finger prints and Martin’s pedigree—not to mention being a two-time captain—are all things trending in his direction.

Romeo Okwara and Elijah Shumate will certainly “look the part” in Indianapolis. I’m interested to see how heavy Shumate is when he hits the scale, likely shedding weight to get his 40-yard dash time as fast as possible.

Rotoworld’s Josh Norris had this to say about Okwara when chatting with Stankevitz to preview the Irish’s draft prospects.

“He’s kind of everything that you want walking off the bus. If you want to talk him up that way, at that edge rusher spot, you want someone that’s long and looks athletic and toned. To me, he just didn’t do much with it, or didn’t know what he was doing in terms of using that length to his advantage or the hand use or anything like that.”