Such is the case with Cleburne County tailback Tyrone Prothro. A lightning quick prospect who can score from anywhere on the field, Prothro has taken his love of running and combined it with football to create a deadly combination for opposing defenses.
"I've got good vision," the 5-9 ½, 173-pound Prothro tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I can see the field...I just like offense because I get to do what I do best--show my moves. They put me in close to the end of the game on defense when the other team is trying to throw the ball and catch up, but offense is what I like to do."
Soon to be a four-year starter, he has the ability to make people miss, but he also has the strength in his small frame to run through defenders. Never was that more evident than last season when he led Cleburne County to the Class 4A title game before falling just short in their run for the championship. On the season he totaled 2,475 all-purpose yards and scored 23 touchdowns.
Many of those 23 scores came from long distances as Prothro used his 4.4 speed in the forty-yard dash to race past defenders into the end zone. "My best time is a 4.38," he notes, "but I'm consistent around a 4.4."
Not surprisingly, Prothro has already begun to hear from some of the top schools in the South as they prepare to recruit prospects for the class of 2003. In addition to in-state schools Auburn and Alabama, he says that many others have also contacted him.
"I've heard from Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and there's a couple of schools out of the SEC that have talked me also. I can't remember them off the top of my head, but they have been in touch."
As the only self-proclaimed Alabama fan growing up in a house full of Auburn fans, it's not surprising that Prothro has already attended a football camp in Tuscaloosa this summer and he says that he liked everything about it.
"It went pretty good," Prothro says. "I was the fastest one at the camp. They clocked me at a 4.5 up there but we ran indoors on turf."
Just because he has Alabama roots doesn't make him a lock for the Crimson Tide though as he also has family history linking him to Auburn. With so many former players coming back and taking an interest in the Auburn program, it wouldn't be surprising to see one of his family members push him towards becoming a Tiger when the time comes next February.
"I had an uncle go to Auburn--Charles Wood," he notes, "He played football for Auburn. I think it was around 1971 or something like that." Actually, Wood was a four-year letterman for the Tigers at defensive end from 1976-80.
Football isn't the only sport in which Prothro excels as he also plays basketball and runs track. As a shooting guard he averaged nearly 18 points per game last season. On the track he runs both the 100 and 200 meters and has a career best time of 10.9 in the 100 and 22.9 in the 200.
Tiger Ticket Extra: While watching film this summer of many of the top prospects in Alabama for the upcoming season, Prothro was a player whoimmediately caught my eye. He never seems to go down without a fight and the defender never gets a solid hit on his squirming body...While his heart is on offense at running back, his size may lend him more to becoming a wide receiver or cornerback, which might be his best position in the long run.