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Thursday, May 31, 2012
Q&A with C.J. Prosise

By Matt Fortuna

C.J. Prosise knows the challenges ahead of him. The three-star prospect from Woodberry Forest, Va., is one of four safety commits in Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class. Set to enroll at his new school June 18, Prosise has been doing all he can to be ready for a chance to get on the field this fall. We recently caught up with Prosise to talk about his path to South Bend, Ind.

What's the feeling like now, about a month away from getting to school?

C.J. Prosise: Right now just getting ready, preparing myself, running on the days I work out and working out on the days I work out and every day get better, trying to get better every day.

Do you know what you're going to major in yet?

CP: I haven't decided yet. I'm just going to try to get up there and figure out what I can choose from there.

How much have you been in touch with some of the other recruits so far?

CP: At the spring game, I knew some people going in, but I really didn't know them that well. Then after that weekend we got to know a lot of the guys, like Chris Brown, Will Mahone, even some of the new recruits from the other class. I definitely got to know some other guys better, guys I had met before, so it was nice doing that.

Have you been in touch with a lot of the early enrollees now, and have they been able to tell you what it's been like practicing with the team?

CP: Yeah, I talk to some of them. They tell me Notre Dame's going to be a hard transition, I'm going to have to work, so they definitely said it's a hard transition at school but they eventually get it.

How do you keep your ground when you see your future teammates taking part in spring practice?

CP: I've been doing track. I already know that I'm coming in behind, and everybody's already been through it there. So really what I'm doing right now is just preparing myself physically so I'll be able to come in and be able to compete once I get there.

I'm sure you've seen some of the current Notre Dame football players have some success on the track team. Has that crossed your mind yet?

CP: Maybe down the road I'll think about that. I'm not really a track runner. I just do it to get better. I have a really good coach here who's been helping me out a lot with my speed -- my speed and kind of just helped me with workouts. I really wasn't thinking about running track. I really haven't like learned how to do one thing in track I'm really good at or anything like that. So right now track's not on my mind, at least not until later in my career, maybe sophomore or junior year.

There are no shortage of safety commits to the Irish this year. What's the challenge like competing with so many of your peers at that position?

CP: It's definitely hard because everybody's coming here and you want to get that playing time and you want to be on the field, and you don't want to get redshirted. But then you think about: It's going to be hard to be like friends off the field, you know? There's so much competing on the field, it's going to be hard to be cool with your peers and stuff. But I think that we'll be able to overcome that and become friends off the field first and always keep the competing on the field.

Did you return punts or kicks last year, or both?

CP: Actually it was both. I did both punts and kicks, but punt returns are what I'm kind of skilled at more.

I'm sure, like everyone else, you saw how Notre Dame struggled in that department last year. Do you feel that might be an area that can allow you to get on the field early?

CP: Yeah, they definitely talked about it a lot. If I can be ready to come in in shape, they said they want me out there to help out some of it if I could, on the punt returns.

Any background or family ties to Notre Dame?

CP: Really I would think my brothers (Eric and Tyrone), they were both pretty big Notre Dame fans when they were kids, and I've always been kind of a Notre Dame fan, but I just always knew they were there and how good of a program they've been and how good of a school it was.

Did your brothers play football?

CP: They played in high school.

How did you all fall in love with Notre Dame?

CP: I would say it was probably the main reason I committed to Notre Dame was a feeling that it was right for me. I knew they were on TV all the time, but I didn't know they had a contract, that every game was on national television. But a lot of it was just kind of a feeling that I should commit to Notre Dame.

What was your reaction to getting an offer, and what were your brothers' reactions?

CP: I wasn't shocked because they were talking to me for a while, they said they had a lot of interest. But I would say their reaction was just ... they were definitely excited. It was actually really weird. When I actually got the offer, I walked back to my dorm room. I got into my room, my phone's ringing, and I answered it. My brother starts talking and then I tell him I get offered at Notre Dame and he's like 'What?' He called at the perfect time, so that was kind of like a sign. (Laughs.)