Jay Prosch transferring to Auburn

Illinois fullback Jay Prosch is transferring to Auburn to be closer to his ailing mother.

Prosch, a 6-foot-1, 250-pound sophomore from Mobile, Ala., filled the role of Illinois' starting lead blocker for the past two seasons and recorded 10 tackles on special teams in 2011. His mother, Iris, was diagnosed with brain cancer last spring and has been receiving treatments both in Mobile and at Duke University in North Carolina.

"Jay Prosch has decided to transfer to Auburn and will be there for the current semester," Illinois coach Tim Beckman said in a statement. "He will have an opportunity to be much closer to his mother, who continues to face health issues. We wish Jay the best as he makes this move."

Another factor in Prosch's decision is that Illinois will run a spread offense under Beckman that won't feature a fullback. Prosch told the Mobile Press-Register that he had received permission from Illinois to talk to 11 of the 12 SEC schools about transferring. Only Arkansas, where former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino works, was excluded.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com