He was a 250 pound, two time All-State selection in High School who helped his school win the 4-A State Championship. Although he was named the Alabama Lineman of the Year and played in the Alabama/ Mississippi High School All-Star game, he received little attention from SEC schools.
It was a surprise to his coaches when he had to leave his home state to play football in the Big 10. Two years later though, he was named a First Team All-American fullback and considered a true NFL prospect.
When he was granted a release by the University of Illinois to transfer to a school closer to his ailing mother, he had close to 20 deep south schools vying for his services. And as all Auburn fans know, Jay Prosch chose the Tigers.
It was a time that brought joy and hope to a young man who had been through so much. Yet two days after being the lead blocker for Running back Tre Mason in the Tigers opening game against Clemson …
… his mother Iris lost her battle with brain cancer.
It must have been a tough thing to return to the football field but he was there the next Saturday in Starkville for Auburn’s first SEC road test. That’s the kind of guy that Jay Prosch is… he’s a man you can depend on.
Still in spite of his reputation as one of the nation’s best fullbacks Jay was not utilized as much as coaches had said he would be in the preseason. This despite his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and scoring the first two touchdowns of his college career.
What a help he could have been for the SEC’s ninth place rushing offense … had he not been left standing on the sideline for much of the season.
The players knew what he could do, having named him “The Juggernaut” during summer camp.
The coaches knew what he could do. Former running backs coach, Curtis Looper said, “You know, (backs like him) are hard to find. There aren’t many guys who can power clean 400 pounds and run like he can run and block like he can, as flexible as he is, the hands that he has.”
If that was so, and evidence says it was, Jay had to wonder why wasn’t he in the game more often? It was truly one of the many inexplicable things to happen with the 2012 team. However, Jay never complained.
He is a throwback, old fashion, hard nose football player. The kind who gives it all he has and puts the team above his own interest. His attitude has always been, “Whatever I can do to help the team.”
Now for the second year in a row the news coming out of spring camp is that Jay is once again wowing his coaches and teammates.
In fact he was one of the first offensive players to receive praise from the staff this spring. H-backs coach Scott Fountain for one said Prosch, “Can give us another dimension in the running game that we didn’t have … even the year we won the national championship.”
And since he will be playing in Gus Malzahn‘s downhill, run first offense, Jay Prosch may finally have the Auburn season everyone expected of him last year. Outside of the QB position, he could easily become the most important back in the Tiger backfield.
One things for certain, the guy who received little attention from SEC schools four years ago, will be on the radar of every defensive coordinator on Auburn’s schedule in 2013
Tags: AubTigerman, Auburn blogs, Auburn Football, auburn Tigers, Auburn's most important offensive back, Gus Malzahn, Jay Prosch, Scott Fountain, Track 'em Tigers, Tre Mason