Jay Prosch To Add Depth At Fullback

Fullbacks are hard to find. Many schools employ spread offenses or one-back attacks where there is no fullback. Many fullbacks are moved there from other positions as they are used primarily as blockers. Illinois has a need for fullbacks as it is switching to an offense that uses them. One they plan to sign Wednesday is Jay Prosch out of Mobile, Alabama.

Jay Prosch played several positions for UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, Alabama, and had good success.

"I started out on offensive line my sophomore year. That's what they needed on the team. I played there and had a really good year. Junior year they still needed me in the offensive line, and I got first team All-State and a bunch of offensive player awards. That was good.

"Senior year they switched me to defense. I knew I wasn't big enough to play offensive line in college, and I wanted to go to college and play somewhere. I played linebacker and had an awesome year. I guess that's what really did it for me."

Still, he had no major college offers to play linebacker. The Illini liked him as a fullback, a position he played only rarely in high school.

"Northern Illinois wanted me for fullback, and Illinois wanted me for fullback. I talked to some schools down here, and they wanted me for linebacker. But I liked the idea of fullback. I played goal line fullback, but I've never actually played there as a full-time position.

"They saw the way I could block from my film junior year. And I guess they saw how I could move at linebacker, so they thought I could be a success at fullback."

Prosch explains how he ended up choosing Illinois.

"I'd already been to Northern Illinois, and I liked it a lot. I'm from Alabama, so I didn't know much about either of the schools. When I went up there (UI), I was thinking I was going to NIU. But it had a really strong college feel, there was a lot of activity going on, and that made me feel good."

The entire weekend pleased Prosch.

"I met all the coaches, and I met my assistant coach (Greg) Nord. I liked him a lot. We talked about plays, and he seemed like he'd be a great coach. I liked all the other coaches. And the facilities were amazing.

"I met a bunch of the guys, and they seemed really cool. They seemed like guys you can hang out with and be teammates. The school is a really good academic school, and that's always a plus. Of course it's in the Big 10, and that definitely helps."

Despite growing up in the South, cold weather was not a concern for Prosch.

"My dad has a house in Vermont, so I go there every winter and play in the snow. I've been in cold weather before, so I'm kind of used to it. It wasn't bad at all."

The 6'-1", 250 pounder is a workout warrior. He already benches an amazing 440 pounds.

"When I started working out my 8th grade year, I worked really hard because I wanted to play football. Plus I enjoyed it. I worked real hard and kept improving."

He doesn't want to get any bigger, but he feels improvements are still possible.

"I'm not trying to gain any more weight, but if I can gain muscle and speed, that will really help."

An excellent student, Prosch has yet to confirm a major in college.

"I think I'd like to go into Civil Engineering, but that's just a thought. I'm not really sure on that."

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