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February 8, 2012

Luper talks 2012 RB class

A Rivals250 tailback and an All-American fullback were part of Auburn's 2012 signing class. Auburn running backs coach Curtis Luper thinks the duo could be big parts of Auburn's future backfield.

Wooddale (Memphis, Tenn.) four-star running back Jovon Robinson and Illinois transfer fullback Jay Prosch make up the Tigers' running back class of 2012. Robinson signed with Auburn on Signing Day. Prosch transferred to Auburn in January and is enrolled in classes.

Robinson, 6-foot, 215 pounds, is the No. 1-ranked running back in Tennessee and No. 10 in the nation. As a senior, he rushed for 1,069 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He's a big back, but his size doesn't limit him, Luper said. It was one of the things the coach noticed when he first evaluated the recruit.

"I liked the fact that he was 215 pounds and ran like a lot of 195-pound kids do," said Luper. "He could make you miss. He could take it to the house. He did that at 215-218 pounds as a junior and that was intriguing to me. I could see that he could be successful in the SEC and here at Auburn.

"He's a complete back. He can do it all. He can run between the tackles. He can run the perimeter. He's fast enough to turn the edge and take it to the house. He has good hands. He's just an every-down back."

Robinson could one day share the same backfield with Prosch, but the two won't share the same journey. Prosch signed with Illinois in 2010 out of UMS-Wright in Mobile.

In two years at Illinois, Prosch played in all 25 games and started 12. He gained a reputation as one of the nation's top blocking fullbacks and was selected first-team All-American in 2011 by Pro Football Weekly.

"I remembered Jay from from high school and I followed him at Illinois," said Luper. "Every time I watched him, he was just dominant. He just dominated guys that were two and three years older than him."

Prosch transferred to Auburn to be closer to his ill mother, who lives in his hometown of Mobile. Auburn is applying to the NCAA for a hardship waiver for Prosch, which would allow him immediate eligibility.

"Guys like him are hard to find," said Luper. "He's a tank. He power cleans 396 pounds, and that's unheard of. His bench press is approaching 450 pounds.

"He's got some magical numbers, some freak-like numbers, and sometimes Coach (Kevin) Yoxall won't let him go as high as he can on some things just because it's so much weight."

Luper said both Prosch and Robinson are expected to compete for playing time in the fall.

"I expect them to play," Luper said. "But you never know how good they are until they get to campus and get hit in the mouth."


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