It did not register as a great surprise, but Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi ended any lingering suspense Thursday by acknowledging he has been cleared to play in the upcoming season.
Uzzi did not play in the Sun Bowl and then sat out of spring practice with what he called “nagging injuries.”
“I’ve been running with the team, just excited to be back,” said Uzzi, looking a fit 307 pounds. “I’m ready to play.”
Also on Thursday, Uzzi was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman, offense or defense. Uzzi, a two-time All-ACC selection, was one of 71 players and 20 guards named to the list. Uzzi’s nomination follows center Jay Finch being named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given to the top center in the country.
“I really appreciate the attention and support that people give me for [awards],” he said, “but I’m a guy that tries to take things step by step, little by little, one drill at a time, one play at a time, one series at a time and hopefully that’ll turn into winning games, championships, all the things that we all want to get.”
2. New strength and conditioning coach John Sisk continues to receive glowing reports from the team. Guard Will Jackson called Sisk’s program a “night and day” difference from past programs.
“Everybody’s been working hard since I’ve been here, but the mindset is just so much different because Coach Sisk ties everything back into football,” Jackson said. “It’s not just lifting weights for the sake of lifting weights. He’s always reminding you, ‘We’re lifting for 9/3 against Virginia Tech.’”
Sisk has shifted the training in July to a heavier focus on conditioning as fall camp and the season approach. After a rigorous workout in the afternoon heat Wednesday, Jackson said he felt like he’d played an actual game afterwards.
Said Jackson, “We’ve been running in the heat and I’ve been sleeping soundly the past couple nights.”
3. Single-game tickets will go on sale Friday. The ticket office continues to sell season tickets, including a $99 season ticket in the north end zone, and a $115 three-game plan for the Virginia, Miami and BYU games. Without Georgia or Clemson on the schedule but with a price drop from last year, the office has sold about 22,000 season tickets thus far. The total last year was 23,200.
4. Uzzi has been interning at Barton Executive Search firm with, among others, Julian Burnett, whose neck injury in the Sun Bowl will keep him from playing this season and has likely ended his career. Said Uzzi, “It’s hurting him that he can’t play with us this year, but he definitely supports all of us in what we do.” … Tech’s fan day will be Aug. 4 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The event will run 3-6 p.m., with autograph signing beginning at 4 p.m. … Offensive tackle Ray Beno, one of several players with summer internships, is working for the Atlanta Silverbacks in marketing and promotions. Part of his work experience includes dressing up in a banana suit and getting chased by the team’s gorilla mascot. “I can tell you I’ve definitely been enjoying” the internship, he said.