Thursday, May 19, 2011
Illinois fullback Jay Prosch among 'freaks'
By Adam Rittenberg
In case you missed it -- and I don't blame you after all our of Big Ten spring meetings coverage -- but colleague Bruce Feldman published his much-anticipated "Freaks" list on Wednesday.
Feldman's freaks are the top workout warriors in college football, and Illinois fullback Jay Prosch is the Big Ten's lone representative on the list.
A few years ago there was a 250-pound fullback on top of this list named Owen Schmitt. Prosch, a rising sophomore, may top this list in a year or two. Illini staffers say Prosch has calves as thick as some men's waists. Still, he's been measured at 6 percent body fat. He power-cleans 382 pounds, hang-cleans 401 and can bench 405 for two reps. In high school he was a guard and a linebacker, but Ron Zook's staff loves his presence as a fullback.
Prosch is an interesting story who generated some attention this spring. He left the team in early April for eight days to be with his mother, who underwent emergency surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her brain. Prosch returned to Champaign and drew praise from the coaches for his on-field performance.
After serving as an excellent lead blocker for Mikel Leshoure last season, Prosch saw more carries this spring as Illinois endured injuries at the running back spot. He's definitely getting it done both on the field and in the weight room.
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa is among those who just missed the cut for Feldman's list. Persa has earned the team's "Top Cat" award as its top weight room performer for the past two years.
I'm hoping to do a more on Big Ten "freaks" in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.