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‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche reflects

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‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche reflects

Postby AfricanMustang » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:02 pm

The plan coming into the 2019 school year was for James Proche to room with either Reggie Roberson Jr. or Myron Gailliard -- he’d lived with both during previous years. But the rising WR for SMU had an idea that changed plans for all three seniors.

Proche wanted to be paired up to live with a freshman receiver -- someone for whom Proche could serve as a mentor. He wanted the same for Roberson Jr. and Gailliard.

So Proche now lives with Rashee Rice. Roberson Jr. lives with Keke Burns and Gailliard lives with Calvin Wiggins. As the older era of receivers graduate, Proche wanted to instill something in the group to come.

“I’ll take credit for that one, for sure,” Proche said. “Yeah, I’ll take credit for that.”

When Proche plays his final game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday, that’s part of the legacy that he’ll leave. On a team with many of its best players joining SMU via transfer, Proche is a homegrown Dallas native that’s been a great player at SMU since his first game.

He joined a failing and fledgling program, went 2-10 his first season, and has been a part of building it back up. He has 37 career touchdowns -- the most in program history -- and leads SMU’s all-time all-purpose yards list, too. He might go down as SMU’s most prolific receiver ever.

“Yeah, I think so. I think for sure,” head coach Sonny Dykes said when asked if he thought Proche could and should play in the NFL. “I think he’ll have a great opportunity to play. The NFL is such a weird league -- so much of it is right play, right time, and getting on the right team, and seeing how you’re used. ... But yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind he can play in the NFL.”

Proche will certainly get good looks at making a professional roster. But even so, as of now, he’s accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game. It’s a step below the Senior Bowl, which is the best showcase for proving yourself as an NFL talent to the many evaluators in attendance. Proche could still receive an invite, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Proche is aware of where he stands in the SMU record books because his grandmother and uncle keep a running update to him every week. Personally, he said he’s not really worried about the records. He answered three consecutive questions -- including a question about meeting Eric Dickerson -- with some form of the cliché of “go 1-0 each week.”

But even if he won’t acknowledge the personal statistical accomplishments, everyone else is aware of what he’s doing for his program.

“Just being able to be a part of that history, be a part of those record books -- I’m not in it, but I’m part of this,” Buechele said. “It’s cool.”

During a practice last week, after scoring a touchdown, Proche caught the ball and kept running off the end of the field and tried to throw the football quite hard into a can several feet away. When it missed he acted so distraught over it.

Several minutes later, during a post-practice interview with Buechele, Proche came and stood next to him and put his head on Buechele’s shoulder as the quarterback answered a question about Proche. To Buechele’s credit, he never reacted to the playful antics of his most reliable receiver.

That, in a nutshell, is the eccentricity that Proche brings to this team. He’s channeled -- no pun intended -- that intensity better this season, Dykes said. His “mental maturity” and “emotional stableness" has improved in the face of mistakes he makes. In the past, those mistakes might have been more detrimental.

“I want to be remembered as a winner," Proche said. "Not a big-catch guy, statistics guy, highlight guy. I want to be a winner here. However I can finish doing that, doing my job, that’s what I’m focused on.”

That interview was conducted before SMU lost to Navy. In it, Proche said he wouldn’t be remembered as a winner unless he finished the season with a ring on his finger. SMU won’t get that AAC title ring. But Proche will probably still be remembered as a winner -- even if would argue otherwise.

He’s been the guy who’s stepped up when Roberson Jr. got hurt. He’s the guy who willed them to a 21-point fourth quarter comeback vs. Tulsa. He’s the guy that stayed home and became great. He’s the guy that became “Channel 3” -- a made-for-TV type of player.

And he’s the guy mentoring his own replacements. He’s the true heart of a team on the doorstep of a 10-win season.

Said Proche: “It’s been magical.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/smu-m ... o-a-close/
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Re: ‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche refl

Postby BUS » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:19 pm

Thank you
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Re: ‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche refl

Postby digman52 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:27 am

What an amazing young man !
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Re: ‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche refl

Postby Junior » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:21 pm

He has been better than even advertised. And he was hyped up before he even got here.

3 is one of the best we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a lot of good receivers. Glad he has done so well. He can have a great career at the next level.
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Re: ‘I want to be remembered as a winner’: James Proche refl

Postby SMU#92 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:03 pm

Love this young man!
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