Auburn Football Newcomers To Watch: No. 2

We continue our series of Auburn newcomers that have a chance to make an impact this season for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Coming in at No. 2 on our list of Auburn football players who have a chance to make an impact in their first season of collegiate game action with the Tigers is fullback Jay Prosch.

With Auburn's offense incorporating more plays from under center with plans to use a true fullback as part of the plan of attack, the Illinois transfer could be one of the biggest recruiting coups for Gene Chizik and his staff in 2012.

Making the move to Auburn to be closer to his ailing mother in Mobile where she is battling cancer, Prosch received a waiver from the NCAA last week, meaning he does not have to sit out the 2012 season as a transfer. Sitting out one season of competition is normally required for a football player who moves from one Division I program to another, but if there are special circumstances for making the transfer the NCAA has the authority to waive the rule.

Practicing in the spring with his new team, the 6-0, 253-pound Prosch immediately captured the attention of both his coaches and teammates as he cleared running lanes for the tailbacks and protected the quarterbacks. A player who isn't afraid of contact, he said that is the name of the game when you play the fullback position and he's just fine with that.

"That's what I try to be all about is being physical," Prosch said. "In my opinion, that's what a fullback is. The lead blocker is the most physical person on the field so I try to do that every play. For running the ball, it's very important."

A standout linebacker as a senior as well as offensive guard in his junior season at UMS-Wright in Mobile when he was Alabama's Class 4A Lineman of the Year in 2009, Prosch served primarily as a blocking back the past two seasons for the Fighting Illini.

He also was a diligent kicking teams performer for the Illini, sharing the team's outstanding special teams player award for 2011. Prosch led the special teams units with 10 tackles in 2011 and had 11 the previous year.

In 2010 he helped pave the way for Mikel Leshoure to set a single-season record for rushing yards as Illinois featured the Big Ten's No. 1 ranked ground game.

One of the strongest players in Alabama his senior year, Prosch was a dominant defender for Coach Terry Curtis at UMS-Wright. Helping his team to a playoff berth, he recorded 199 total tackles with 114 solo stops, 16 for loss, five pass breakups and a sack. Prosch earned first-team All-State honors as an offensive lineman his junior year as he helped the Bulldogs to the state championship.

Prosch joined the Auburn team in January and was able to participate in winter workouts and spring training.

With the good news on Thursday that he has been officially cleared to play this fall, Prosch looks to be in the right place at the right time to make a major contribution to Auburn, the team he followed while growing up in Mobile.

Prosch called the news he has been cleared to play "awesome" and added it has been "amazing" to be able to attend college at Auburn, his childhood favorite, and be close enough to visit his mother on a regular basis.

"When the season starts I won't be able to do that (go home regularly), but it is very nice for now," he said. The new Tiger said that when the word got out he would be able to play in games this year, his teammates let him know they were happy about the news. "They are very supportive and excited, and that made me more excited."

Prosch Thankful And Eager To Contribute

No. 12, Mike Blakely

No. 11, Jaquay Williams

No. 10, Ricky Parks

No. 9, Cassanova McKenzie

No. 8, Jovon Robinson

No. 7, Sammie Coates

No. 6, Christian Westerman

No. 5, Corey Grant

No. 4, Kris Frost

No. 3, Patrick Miller

2012 Inside the Auburn Tigers Football Guide

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