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Seahawks banking on C.J. Prosise to make offense more dynamic

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Rookie C.J. Prosise can add new element to Seahawks offense (1:18)

ESPN Seahawks reporter Sheil Kapadia says the Seahawks have big plans for RB C.J. Prosise as both a ball-carrier and pass-catcher. (1:18)

RENTON, Wash. -- On the last day of Seattle Seahawks rookie camp, when players broke up into their positional groups, third-round pick C.J. Prosise found himself among new peers: the wide receivers.

Prosise played running back at Notre Dame last year, but he was previously a wide receiver. And while coach Pete Carroll has been complimentary of all the rookies, his affection for Prosise over the weekend stood out.

"He is a guy that I fell in love with because when I went back and watched him play at receiver, he ran all of the routes," Carroll said. "He was a regular receiver. He had 50 targets or something two years ago. He’s a natural football player at that position that became a running back. That’s really unusual that happens like that and that he would be so dynamic as a player at the running back spot.

"So going into this draft I was hoping that we would get this guy so we could do the things that we can do with him."

Sometimes coaches are hesitant to specify roles for rookies so early, but that has not been the case with Prosise. Carroll has made it clear Prosise is going to be the Seahawks' third-down back, a role that Fred Jackson occupied last season.

While Jackson was dependable, Prosise can bring a dynamic element to the offense. He said he wants to model his game after Matt Forte, but parts of Prosise's game bear resemblance to another player Carroll has coached: Reggie Bush.

Prosise's acceleration is special. He can get around the corner and turn up field in a hurry, leaving a trail of defenders behind. Prosise ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine, and his game speed looks every bit that fast. He's excellent on the perimeter and dynamic in space.

"He’s really unique. I’ve never had anyone that was a receiver that went to running back that could do both," Carroll said. "You commit one way or the other. We put him with the receivers today. He ran one-on-one routes with the receivers today, and he looked normal, as comfortable as the receivers. He does have great speed too. And he is tall. His hands are totally adequate. It’s a real prize for us. I don’t really have a guy to compare him to at this point."

Last season, Prosise carried 156 times for 1,032 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry and finding the end zone 11 times. There were several examples of Prosise showing physicality and fighting through contact for extra yards on inside runs.

In 2014, Prosise caught 29 balls for 516 yards, averaging 17.8 yards per reception. And he was also a standout special-teams player.

He admitted that he's just scratching the surface as a ball-carrier. Prosise ran exclusively out of one-back sets in the spread at Notre Dame, and he has work to do in pass protection. But the expectation is that he will see plenty of touches as a rookie and play an important role on the Seahawks' offense.

"We've had our eye on him throughout," Carroll said. "We hoped we could get him because we have a very special role that we want to put him in."