The strangest thing happened to Seattle Seahawks’ rooking running back C.J. Prosise on Thursday night.
He heard a play called in a huddle.
Prosise never did in the up-tempo, no-huddle offense at Notre Dame in college, or even in high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.
“First time I’ve been in the huddle in half my life,” he said. “Last time was (recreational youth) league. Even then, they would tell me which way to run, so I was never really in the huddle.”
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Teammates and coaches were just happy to see him in uniform — and contributing as the third-down back in the Seahawks’ 27-17 victory over Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
Prosise played in the first half, spelling starter Christine Michael on third down. His first run was a 11-yard scamper on third-and-20 on the team’s first series of the game.
“It was very important (to see him play),” Michael said. “We are going to need him throughout the season. It was good to see him get out there and get some good runs … and pick up some good pass blocking.
“He is a big guy with good speed.”
And when the first-team offense took a seat midway through the third quarter, Prosise got to start a series with the second unit — and made a nice spin move en route to an 8-yard run on first down.
He finished with 23 yards on four carries. No passes were thrown in his direction.
“He looked just fine,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “That is a great sign. We are going to use the heck out of him this week, and he’ll play a lot and have a big role in preparation of the opener.”
Prosise was selected in the third round (90th overall) in last spring’s NFL Draft as the heir apparent to veteran Fred Jackson, who was not resigned.
But he missed much of rookie mini-cap with a hip flexor injury.
And within the first 10 minutes during the opening training camp July 30, Prosise pulled a hamstring. It sidelined him for the better part of two weeks, and forced him to miss preseason games at Kansas City and at home against Minnesota.
“You see all these guys making plays, and doing really well in practice, and you want to be out there,” Prosise said. “I had to focus myself mentally and get those mental reps, and learn the offense as much as possible because I knew once I get in there, I was going to be thrown in there and expected to know what I was doing.”
Prosise spent his first two seasons at Notre Dame as a wide receiver before moving to tailback his last season as a junior. He not only wears the same jersey number as Jackson (No. 22), he has much of the same skill set with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
“I heard the first day I got in here, ‘There is young Fred right here,’ ” Prosise said. “I haven’t heard it much lately. But … I have been learning from him watching the things he did.”