CJ Prosise

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Irish RB C.J. Prosise latest to leave early for NFL

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Notre Dame already knew it would need to replace an All-American offensive lineman who was leaving school early. Now, one of the players for which Ronnie Stanley cleared holes is moving on as well.

On Instagram Saturday, C.J. Prosise announced that he will be leaving the Irish a year early in order to make himself available for the April NFL draft. The running back’s decision, which has been expected given his talent and the position he plays, comes one day after Notre Dame closed out its season with a loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

It also came a couple of days after he confirmed that he had received a grade from the NFL’s draft advisory committee, but declined to reveal the result.

After rushing for just 126 yards combined the previous two seasons, the converted wide receiver broke out as a redshirt junior in 2015 in leading the Irish with 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns. Those totals were tied for 57th and 46th nationally, respectively, although those numbers are somewhat skewed by the fact that he recorded no statistics in two of the final three regular season games as well as essentially the entire bowl game because of ankle and concussion issues.

One area that will likely catch the eyes of NFL scouts, besides his speed, is his pass-catching ability as he was fifth on the Irish in receptions (26) and receiving yards (308).

Despite Prosise’s early departure, the Golden Domers should be more than fine in the backfield.

Tarean Folston, the team’s leading rusher in 2014, is expected to be fully healthy after sustaining a knee injury in the season opener and missing the remainder of the 2015 season.  Josh Adams, second on the team with a school freshman record 835 yards and a team-leading 7.1 yards per carry, returns, as does fellow freshman Dexter Williams (81 yards on 21 carries). The Irish also have commitments from a pair of touted 2016 running back prospects, Tony Jones. Jr. and Deon McIntosh.