Notre Dame running back C.J. Prosise announced on Saturday that he will apply for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft.
He led the Fighting Irish in rushing this season with 156 carries for 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 26 passes for 308 yards and a score. He joins Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley in planning to leave college for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining, and Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith is expected to apply for early draft eligibility, as well. Smith, who suffered a significant knee injury in Friday's Fiesta Bowl, has received a first-round draft grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
Prosise (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) is also an outstanding special-teams player. He had a breakout season in 2015 after transitioning from wide receiver to running back in the offseason. He likely would have threatened a 1,500-yard season had a concussion and an ankle injury not shortened his final college season. He had more than 900 yards by the end of October, but the injuries limited him to only 13 carries over Notre Dame's last five games.
Other underclassman running backs that have announced intentions to enter the 2016 draft include Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott, Arkansas' Jonathan Williams and Florida's Kelvin Taylor. Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry of Alabama likely won't announce a decision until after the Crimson Tide's College Football Playoff championship game against Clemson on Jan. 11.
Underclassmen have until a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.