July 18, 2014

No. 19: Uzomah



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THE AUBURNSPORTS.COM TOP 40 for 2014










TE




C.J. Uzomah
6-foot-4, 264 pounds, Senior






BUNKER rank BM rank AD rank JGT rank
19 15 20 22


Many players who sign with Auburn, or any school for that matter, are a long was from a finished product when they arrive on campus.



And that's exactly where Uzomah was in 2011. He was a good high-school quarterback who didn't have the kind of passing ability to play the position in college -- and he was OK with that. So he took on the task of bulking up and turning himself into a tight end.


So that was the plan. Uzomah caught a break, though, by playing behind a guy like Philip Lutzenkirchen. The two players have a similar sense of humor, a similar base of skills and the teacher-student dynamic worked well for both of them. As Lutzenkirchen thrived as a junior (in 2011) and the first half of his season senior season in 2012, Uzomah took tips from Lutzenkirchen and applied them to his game on the practice field.


It was a perfect scenario for Uzomah. He made a lot of mistakes during those first two seasons, but few of them were visible to anyone outside the athletic complex. They were made on the practice field and Lutzenkirchen always was there to explain the mistake and what needed to be done.


Uzomah consolidated all that progress into a pretty remarkable 2013 season. His blocking improved to mediocre and he made some important, complicated catches that demonstrated his NFL ability. His first big moment came against Mississippi State when Uzomah grabbed a picture-perfect (yet challenging) fade route to win the game.


He made another incredible catch on a wheel route for a touchdown against Tennessee. I was standing along the sideline mere feet away from where Uzomah made the catch and I honestly have no idea how he made that happen. The coverage was very tight, the throw was inside and a little too deep. Uzomah kicked himself into another gear and made the catch while falling down.


Amazing.
- Jay G. Tate






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