I always enjoy spring football on The Plains. All the new names to follow, the questions about quarterbacks, the rumors about new schemes, and of course who will replace the departed starters.
And for the fifth straight year Auburn has to answer the question, 'Who will be the field General come September 1, when the Tigers take the field against Clemson in the Georgia Dome?'
I'm no different than any other fan, I want to know who will run the offense. But more intriguing to me this year is, 'Who will be the most valuable back in Auburn's backfield?'
Will it be light but speedy senior Onterio McCalebb? Will it be the fast kickoff return artist sophomore Tre Mason? How about scat back transfer redshirt freshman Mike Blakely? Could it be the Scout Team Player of the Year and Bama transfer Cory Grant? Or maybe it will be a player that will report this summer, like say 4-star freshman Jovan Robinson.
While any of those guys can make an impact in the new offense that Scott Loeffler is installing, none will be the most important back. That honor will belong to ...
... 6', 254 lb. fullback transfer Jay Prosch.
I say that because the new Auburn offense will operate with a true fullback. Yes that will mean a return to smash mouth football on The Plains. And that of course will mean the most valuable back will be the one that hardly ever gets the ball ... the fullback.
In these days of five wide outs, spread the field, hurry up offenses - a true fullback is a rarity. But Jay Prosch is a proven commodity. Jay is a former UMS-Wright All-State running back out of Mobile, who had to leave the state because Illinois was the best option for a player with his skills.
He is a prototypical fullback and just what the doctor would order for a Loeffler style offense. Yet during two seasons in Champaign, he only had two carries for the Illini.
Nevertheless he helped pave the way for Illinois' single-season rushing leader, Mikel Leshoure and the Big Ten's top rushing offense in 2010. In 2011 he was named a First-Team All-American.
He will be the guy that will cut down linebackers, force open holes for the running backs and be the quarterback's bodyguard on pass plays. In short, Jay Prosch will be the most valuable back in Auburn's backfield in 2012.