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Robert Prosek: The hero we didn’t even know we needed

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The little known tight end will have a chance to shine in Miami’s spring game with all other tight ends out.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Bethune-Cookman at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In every superhero story there is a moment where our every day citizen has to rise up against evil and become “Not the hero we deserved, but the hero we needed.” Little known tight end Robert Prosek could become that hero on Saturday, April 17th, as the Hurricanes storm Hard Rock Stadium to face... the Hurricanes... in their spring game on the ACC Network at 11am.

As a smart man once told me, the only way to get promoted in the Vietnam War was for the guy in front of you to die. Well, as Roger Sterling once said, “April 17th, 2021, four tight ends shot their own legs off.” With Will Mallory, Dominic Mammarelli, and Elijah Arroyo out injured; and Larry Hodges pulling a Larry Hodges and getting suspended when he finally had a chance to show his talents, Prosek prevails.


Player info

A Key Largo, FL native, Mr. Prosek is a Coral Springs Shores (whoops) High School graduate who has been a practice squad player for the past two seasons in orange and green. The six-foot-four, 235 pound tight end is a redshirt freshman who will get his chance to shine this weekend.

“Robbie,” as Mr. Prosek is known on Hudl, brings length, hands, toughness, health and non-suspendable qualities to the Rhett Lashlee offense. Prosek also brings versatility to the tight end position. He can line up either inline, or in the slot, and uses his length and frame to box out defenders and come down with a tough catch, or fight his way through would-be tacklers into the end zone.

In the first clip (below), Prosek is lined up inline as a hand down tight end to the top of your screen. Prosek uses his length to haul in a high pass and his toughness to lower the shoulder, hang on, and drive the pile.

In the second clip (below), Prosek is split out wide in the slot to the bottom of your screen. He comes off the line, runs a 15 yard out, tight ropes the sideline, breaks multiple tackles and scoots into the end zone for six.


The Bottom

Robbie Prosek might be the tight end listed at the bottom of the ‘Canes typical depth chart. However, some great things come from the bottom, and sometimes when we least expect it. Let’s take a look at when the bottom ain’t so bad after all.

For instance, SpongeBob SquarePants lives in a pineapple under the sea in a place called, no other than, Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob has a great best friend in Patrick, a loving pet named Gary, and a steady flow of clams coming in from the Krusty Krab. In COVID years I would say that’s quite the success.

Drake and Bart Simpson both “Started from the Bottom,” too. Much like “Wheelchair Jimmy,” Prosek also once lived at his mama’s house (pure speculation on my part). But if he balls out on Saturday at Hard Rock he can make it rain at Cafe’ 1925 just in time for an early supper.

Prosek’s head coach, Manny Diaz, also started from the bottom. He worked his way up from Student Assistant to Graduate Assistant, even toiled as a defensive coordinator around the country before coming up at the bottom of a pile tackling the “7-6 dummy” before the 2019 season as the head coach at The U.

Now Coach Diaz is standing on top of the yacht of life with a 14-10 overall record including close losses in the Independence and Cheez-It bowls. Just goes to show you that the bottom is where the best soup is ladled from.

A famous malapropism is that someone is at the ‘top of the totem pole’ when they’re the boss and ‘at the bottom of the totem pole’ when they’re a jabroni. However, the bottom of the totem pole is actually where the most important figure lies.

Former Miami back up defensive tackle, WWF/E Champion, and Hollywood icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson even had a move called The Rock Bottom. Technically he always wound up on top after the move but still, it was called bottom.

Of course there are also other places where ‘the bottom’ is where the pleasure is. No, not that.. take your mind out of the gutter, Alim! I meant the prize at the bottom of a cereal box, Happy Meal, or Cracker Jack box.

And of course, assistant-to-the-strikers-coach Coach D-Tav started from the bottom, too. Once a fledgling D3 holders coach at Minnesota-Funkley, Coach D-Tav #GrindSZN’d up the collegiate ranks while also working as a bathroom attendant at Gentlemen’s Club type establishments. He went from handing out mints to bringing the JUICE!


Expectations

I honestly (no, I’m not joking you) expect Prosek to ball out. If the Miami defense has proven anything it’s that it struggles to identify and pass off tight ends in coverage, wrap up and finish tackles in the defensive backfield, and coach up a linebacker to hit a pass drop.

Coach Lashlee is going to dial up some crossing routes, flood concepts and naked boots off of split zone to get Prosek looks and the defense is going to have to prove it can defend the flats.

Prosek spring game stat line: 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD.