CJ Prosise’s first memory of playing football came when he was 4 or 5 years old. He picked up a fumble and ran nearly the full length of the field, the wrong way. Just when he was about to go into the end zone for a safety he heard the yells from the sideline to turn around. Well, he did turn around, and he ran all the way back, 95 yards for a touchdown.
With such an auspicious start, success on the football field was bound to follow.
He played safety and wide receiver at Woodberry Forest school in Madison County, Virginia, and committed to the Irish in 2012 as a highly sought after three star recruit. At 6-1, 225, Brian Kelly decided to make a receiver out of him and he redshirted his freshman year. He stayed at that position the next two seasons and saw significant action, good for 46 total catches and 588 yards. He also led the Irish in special teams tackles in 2014 with 11.
With two years of eligibility left and a thin running back room, after the 2014 season he was moved to running back as a back up to Tarean Folston. In the 2015 opener against Texas, Folston went down with a serious knee injury and Proscise took over as starter and was impressive with 98 yards on 20 carries. That day was a sign of great things to come.
Prosise, who shared the backfield with freshman Dexter Williams and Josh Adams went on to lead the Irish with a monster season. Against Georgia Tech that year he amassed 198 yards rushing and 3 TDs including one from 91 yards out, and followed that up with a 143-yard two TD effort against USC.
2015 overall was statistically a magical year for the Irish. Deshone Kiser, Will Fuller and Jaylon Smith all put up big numbers, and Prosise joined the party. For the season he totaled 1,032 yards rushing, another 308 receiving and 12 total touchdowns as the Irish went 10-2 in the regular season just missing a playoff birth when Stanford kicked a last second field goal in the final regular season game.
Prosise decided to strike while he was hot and he passed on his final year of eligibility. He declared for the NFL draft and since has managed a 5-year career which has unfortunately been riddled with injuries. He has been on the roster of both the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.
When Prosise burst on to the scene for that one magical season at running back, critics kept saying that he ran too upright and just didn’t look like a prototype running back. But the proof was in the numbers he put up, and the explosiveness of his game.
CJ Prosise, another All-time Irish Hero.