(photo: Orlando Sentinel)
One of the most devastating blockers to ever play for Auburn University will be playing for the NFL’s Houston Texans in 2014. Jay Prosch singed a multi million dollar contract after helping pave the way for the nation’s No.1 ranked rushing team in 2013. It was Prosch that led the way out of the backfield taking out defensive tackles and line backers for Auburn’s Nick Marshall and Tre Mason.
No offensive shoes will be bigger to fill in 2014 than Jay Prosch. Some could argue that about First Round Draft pick, Greg Robinson but there are several talented lineman competing for his left tackle position. There are not any players on the roster with the skill set of a Jay Prosch – not even senior Brandon Fulse is a true fullback.
Prosch was rated No.1 out of 57 fullbacks available in the NFL Draft and with good reason. He was a first Team All-American as a sophomore who was nicknamed the juggernaut at Auburn for his smash-mouth style of play. His position coach Scott Fountain said, “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen at that position. That’s for sure.”
He never graded lower than 92% as a blocker in any game his senior year. And while he only had five receptions, he proved his versatility as an offensive threat when one of those receptions was a 56 yarder against Texas A&M and another resulted in a touchdown against Western Carolina.
In addition Jay had that intangible quality of leadership. Auburn Strength Coach Ryan Russell said Prosch was a physical presence on the field and a highly self motivated team leader. “I’ve never seen anybody else quite like him.”
How do you replace a guy like that?
Auburn may have just gotten an answer to that question this weekend when the No. 3 Fullback in the nation committed to the Tigers over the Big Cat Weekend. Chandler Cox is a versatile player out of Apopka, Fla. who seems to be cut out of the same smash-mouth mold of Jay Prosch.
The 6’2″ 230 lb. fullback has the mental and physical toughness needed to play the position. And those that have followed him say he doesn’t just block his man out of a play but rather tries to flatten defenders (a la Jay Prosch).
In addition he may even be more versatile a player than Prosch as he’s played fullback, H-back, and wildcat quarterback at Apopka. When the Darter’s starting QB went down with an injury last year, he showed his versatility and leadership by stepping into the quarterback role and leading his team to the state championship game.
Along the way he rushed for over 1,100 yards and13 touchdowns while completing 53-of-93 passes for 1,267 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a receiver, Cox has good hands and has been compared by some to former Tiger Tight End Philip Lutzenkirchin.
He definitely appears to be tailored made for the 3-back position in the Malzahn offense.
He chose the Tigers over Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida, and several others. Admittedly, most of the time when a player commits there is always concern about him keeping that commitment but Chandler, who has dreamed of playing in Auburn’s offense, has told multiple outlets he does not plan to take any more visits. In fact, he said Saturday:
”This day will go down as one of the best days of my life! (I’m) so blessed to be apart of the Auburn Family!” (And) I can’t wait to run out of that tunnel with that fog going and 85,000 plus fans screaming War Eagle!”
Cox recruiting highlight video:
Tags: Apopka High School, AubTigerman, auburn blog, Auburn Football, Auburn recruiting, auburn Tigers, Chandler Cox, Gus Malzahn, Houston Texans, Jay Prosch, Philip Lutzenkirchin, Ryan Russell, Scott Fountain, SEC blog, Track 'em Tigers