RSP Boiler Room No.20: RB C.J. Prosise

Frank Gore by  1977
Photo of Frank Gore by 1977.

Why is Frank Gore pictured for this Prosise run vs. Temple?  Read on.

C.J. Prosise is a gifted athlete with NFL physcial skills who must learn to become a craftsman at his position if he wants a professional career as anything more than a specialist.

If you’re new to the RSP then you’re not familiar with my mantra that college players aren’t usually “coached up” on anything more than strategy at the NFL level. If you’re expecting a player to learn advanced positional techniques from their positional coaches then you’ve bought into a mostly false presumption.

Ask Ryan Riddle, Will Hewlett or Chad Spann: Successful players learn these skills from veterans, from former position coaches serving as consultants to pro and college players, and through dedicated practice beyond the daily work done as a team.

One of the more common ways a running back learns about executing a scheme is from watching top talents in the league. A current scouting and personnel consultant with the league told me that one of the most common teaching tools for young running backs is Frank Gore’s tape.

The Colts’ runner is regarded as the top craftsman at the position. He can run any type of play to perfection. His steps are well measured, he understands how the blocks should unfold, and he knows how to create within the structure of zone, gap, and man blocking while remaining as true to the design as he can without leaving yards on the field.

Former Hurricanes Head Coach Larry Coker was the running back coach for Oklahoma State when Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas were running roughshod through college football. Coker says Gore was the best high school running back he ever saw.

Gore was a fantastic athlete who suffered two knee injuries and played at a fraction of his athletic capability during his final year at Miami. He was never the same athlete, but he was a savvy runner who maximized his conceptual smarts for the position. It leads one to wonder if Gore would have become the master craftsman at the position if he never got hurt this early.

Gore also scored a 6 on the Wonderlic, but he’s considered the consummate student of the position at the NFL level. There’s no definitive way to measure brains.

Prosise, as displayed below, could use some classroom time with Gore’s film. The tape profiles a gap play where Prosise does what a lot of young backs do: Try try to avoid rather than take the fight to the defender as the aggressor.

Although this play isn’t a definitive look at Prosise, it’s a great example of a mistake a lot of college backs make and Internet draft analysts overlook.

That said, there are gap plays where it makes sense for the runner to bounce it from the intended crease, but the conditions include the runner and the defense honoring the intention of the play fully before bouncing it:

For analysis of skill players in this year’s draft class, download the 2016 Rookie Scouting Portfolio – early-bird purchase for April 1 download available now. Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2015 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 apiece.

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