In the wake of the NCAA granting him a hardship waiver to play immediately, newly-minted Auburn fullback Jay Prosch sat down with reporters on Friday afternoon to talk about the process. Here’s the Q &A from that interview
The blog has edited portions of the interview for clarity.
Q & A with Jay Prosch
Q: When did you find out, and who told you? Did you have any idea?
JP: Yesterday, from Coach Chizik. I had no idea. I’ve just been waiting, so it was a big shock to me.
Q: Did he call you and say come by?
JP: I came by, he called me in and told me, I was very surprised.
Q: Were you surprised it happened, or by the time frame?
JP: Just the time frame, it was so unexpected. I’d been waiting, not knowing when, so I was surprised when he called me in and told me it was today, it was awesome.
Q: Were you concerned that it wouldn’t happen?
JP: I was starting to get concerned, but after spring ball, I decided I’d put everything in God’s hands, and I’m already happy. Through spring and through summer, I’ve already been able to go home and see my mom so much, it’s already been completely different, and it’s been awesome. I’m already happy, and either way, I would have been happy, so this is great.
Q: Did you have to be involved with the waiver process?
JP: The only thing I had to do was supply some information about my mom’s records, so that’s really all I had to do.
Q: Does that get you thinking more about next season?
JP: Beforehand, I didn’t think that I would feel the way I felt, after I heard, I did really start thinking more about the season. All day yesterday after I heard, I couldn’t stop moving, and just thinking about the season.
Q: How has it been to be much closer to your family?
JP: It’s been amazing. Weekends where I haven’t had anything, I don’t need to be here, I can just drive home, ride home with my sister a lot of times, and go home and just be with my mom, my little sister that lives in Mobile. The only sister I don’t get to see is my older sister who lives in North Carolina, so it’s been a shock for me. I’m just trying to get used to it. When the season starts, I’m not going to be able to do that, but it’s nice right now.
Q: How’s your mom doing?
JP: She’s being strong right now. A few months ago, she got the diagnosis that the tumor was progressing, so she’s just still staying strong and being hopeful. Fighting it off together. She’s been great.
Q: With much more important things to be concerned with, is the waiver a weight off your shoulders?
JP: So much. It feels amazing, because through spring ball, I kind of forgot about the waiver. Being involved with the team, being involved, I wasn’t thinking about it. Once spring ball, I started thinking, I’m still waiting on this to come through. Now that it’s happened, I can kind of just let loose and not have to worry about anything.
Q: Do you feel like the coaches, the way they used you in the spring, they were planning on you being available?
JP: I think they were. I think that’s why I kind of forgot about the waiver.
Q: How long has your mom been battling cancer?
JP: She was first diagnosed with brain cancer last year during spring ball when I was at Illinois. It’s been a little over a year.
Q: Were you thinking, even then, about trying to get closer to her if possible?
JP: At the time, that summer, we were still learning a lot about how serious it was, what exactly it was, treatments and what originally had happened, because we didn’t know. I was really more focused on that, because we didn’t know. And then, obviously, it’s hard to transfer in the summer, so I just played throughout the year, and it was a good time for me to transfer. She really, last season, she was really healthy enough to travel and come see me play at Illinois. In November is when she started having problems again.
Q: Do you think she’ll be able to see you play at Auburn?
JP: I think she’ll be able to. She came up here for the spring game, which was really cool, so I think she’ll definitely be able to make it to some games.
Q: What’s your role at Auburn? Are you a gladiator that knocks people back?
JP: At Illinois, that’s pretty much what I did. I didn’t really run the ball, didn’t really get thrown the ball, just kind of ran leads and tried to knock people over and make a hole for the running back. Honestly, that’s what I love doing. Coming out of high school, I’d never played fullback, and I was kind of nervous about it, but I realized pretty quick this is what I like to do.
Q: Do you want to catch the ball and knock people over?
JP: I wouldn’t mind it, but I’m not asking for it. I’m a team player, so I do whatever it takes to win. I’m not asking for it, but it would be nice if it happened a few times.
Q: Do you feel like you’re doing the same things you did at Illinois?
JP: I am. The only difference is I haven’t done anything for the program yet as far as in the season or during the game. Hopefully that will happen this year.