You can tell a football player new on the scene has potential to be something special when a teammate says something like Doug Baldwin said about Seahawks rookie running back C.J. Prosise:
“He lights up our sideline with what he does,” Baldwin said.
The third-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, Prosise has been out of action most of the first half of the season as he recovered a from a hand injury.
In the 31-24 Sunday night win over New England, Prosise led the Seahawks in both receiving (seven receptions for 87 yards) and rushing (17 carries for 66 yards).
But there was more to Prosise’s contributions than statistics.
“A couple of those (sideline) catches, he didn’t step out of bounds,” Baldwin said. “He didn’t shy away from contact, and he’s been limited with injuries.”
His Seahawks teammates seemed more impressed with Prosise than Prosise was.
“He’s been doing great, just getting better and better,” center Justin Britt said. “To have C.J. go off like that is really good, and gets our running game going again.”
Prosise’s versatility was what drew coach Pete Carroll to him in the first place.
“It’s something I’ve been born with … I’ve always wanted to be good at receiving and as a running back,” Prosise said. “If they give me the opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it.”
The opportunity arose because last year’s standout rookie Thomas Rawls has been out with a cracked bone in his leg, and his replacement, Christine Michael, has been uninspiring.
“It’s a confidence thing, getting back to what we’re good at,” Prosise said. “The last couple weeks there have been mistakes, and it’s been on everybody. We just finally got it right and we’re hitting the holes.”
From the start of training camp, the Seahawks staff has been looking forward to a healthy Prosise, who seemed perfect for a role as a third-down back — somebody who could block well enough to pick up blitzers, and also be a threat as a receiver.
Prosise said he remained pretty calm during his rehab period.
“I knew what I was capable of; I knew it was just a matter of time,” he said. “It definitely showed at the right time.”
In his first NFL start, Prosise certainly said all the right things afterward.
“I’m just excited we got the win on the road and we get back to CenturyLink and take on the Eagles,” Prosise said. “For me, it means I’ve got to come back and repeat what I did. I want this to be the first of many.”