Updated: Tech’s Uzzi cleared to play, named to Outland watch list

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.

49 comments Add your comment

goldwhitey

July 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Good. He is a stud. First.

Bryan GT04

July 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

53 days til the VT game. Can’t wait for the season to start and see how the new line stacks up.

Born2Buzz

July 12th, 2012
12:41 pm

“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.”

Love it!!! That is the attitude of a winner. I hope he has a great season and reaps the benefits.

I’m getting excited. Sept. 3rd can’t get here quick enough.

CoolBreze

July 12th, 2012
12:57 pm

If we stay healthy…….. If we stay healthy…..If we stay healthy…

CoolBreze

July 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

….somebody gonna get surprise !

JasonGT

July 12th, 2012
1:00 pm

Expecting a ton from the O-Line this season. No excuses…

Jerry Jacket

July 12th, 2012
1:01 pm

I bet Crowell wants to change his name to Uzzi.

CT_Jacket

July 12th, 2012
1:01 pm

Glad he’s back! He is the leader of the OL and his absence probably cost us the Sun Bowl.

buzz2000

July 12th, 2012
1:05 pm

I’m not worried about the O-line, its our horrible defense that has me concerned.

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
1:16 pm

Met Uzzi’s Mom at the Sun Bowl. She was almost in tears that her son couldn’t play & that GT lost. His family were obviously very supportive of him & the team. Be really great to see him have a year worthy of being a finalist for the Outland Trophy. That would also mean GT had a great year! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie!!!!

HighTech

July 12th, 2012
1:21 pm

Outland Trophy…Rimington Trophy…expectations are going to be high for this offensive line. I like what I’m reading.

Not Disappointed!

July 12th, 2012
1:21 pm

I cant wait for September!! Let’s go Jackets!!!

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
1:22 pm

As for Mr. Uzzi missing the Sun Bowl game being a factor in the loss, that’s probably true. When we couldn’t make a 1st down late in the 4th quarter, his presence could have been very big. That’s all we needed to win. A 1st down or 2 would have assured a win. Oh well.

wes

July 12th, 2012
1:24 pm

Uzzi and Shaq Mason are gonna be tough to deal with in the trenches.

chas_jacket

July 12th, 2012
1:33 pm

Great news for GT and Uzzi. In case you missed it, here’s a story on TJ barnes- believe the link is still open
http://georgiatech.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1384385

chas_jacket

July 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

Georgia DAWGS

July 12th, 2012
1:54 pm

If tech could get some folk this on the other side of the ball they might have a decent shot this season…

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
1:58 pm

You could see flashes of really good NT play from TJ last year, but he seemed to be unmotivated most of the time. From reading this article & other stories on him, it sounds like he may have found that spark from CAG & being a leader on the defensive line. I surely hope so, & look forward to watching him assert his presence on the field, & watching the GT defense match his improvement.

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
2:07 pm

I hope to see the “International Wrecking Crew” on the field as a group this season. If they play like it sounds like they can, it should be fun to watch.

gtfan1951

July 12th, 2012
2:13 pm

8-9 no way
10-2 maybe
12-0 something special

chas_jacket

July 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

14 GT, agree on the wrecking crew. Kallon looks special, great attitude – he may be the next Derrick Morgan.

'"Explosive Offensive Line"'

July 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

Good to hear that UZZI is cleared to play and win a Championship.

NiquePhotog

July 12th, 2012
3:03 pm

Every time I read one of these player interviews it just makes me more thankful for CPJ and staff. They may not win every game, but these kids are smart and have their head on straight and are thankfully not self-absorbed/conceited airheads like Nkemidiche, Crowell, etc.

Tokyo jacket

July 12th, 2012
3:05 pm

Cool breeze, that’s the great thing about this year. Every team, every year is “if we stay healthy.” But, because of the depth we have on the O-line w/ no frosh on the 2-deep FINALLY, it’s just stay “relatively healthy.” Obviously, losing Uzzi would hurt, but this is by far the deepest line we’ve had in years.

Tokyo jacket

July 12th, 2012
3:08 pm

14 GT, everything I have read were issues with his conditioning. Also, everything I have read indicates his conditioning isn’t nearly as much of an issue as it has been in the past. If Barnes, can have an okay year, we’ll have a good year. If he can have a great year, well…let’s just wait to see, but it could be special.

explosive offensive line

July 12th, 2012
3:12 pm

Beat the Hokies and make everyone happy.

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
4:12 pm

E O L—-HELL YES!!!!!!

big gt fan

July 12th, 2012
5:25 pm

the problem i see with the ol line is that the tackles cant pass protect very well beno for one

Hiway61

July 12th, 2012
5:30 pm

Great news. looking forward to better pass protection and Special teams. Finally a good kicker.

ToeMeetsLeather

July 12th, 2012
6:04 pm

Uzzi already has his degree as well. True “TECH man” in every sense of the phrase. Good luck this season, and at the next level, big guy!

Ol'JacketFan

July 12th, 2012
6:42 pm

Two players in two days named to national awards watch lists. Both of these young men have shown the determination and work ethic needed to suceed, they are showing the young O ineman the way and let’s hope they’re paying attention. Looking Shaq Mason and Trey Braun coming along the O line continues to get bigger and more mobile.

The 2013 commits in Devine and Hall come in with more size and I love the trend in Tech’s recruiting. If you haven’t looked at the video of Devine out in Oregon last week, do yourself a favor and go to ESPN and watch it. His size is very impressive but pay attention to his footwork and hands in the drills. Very quick feet and his agility will surprise you given his size. If Jeremi Hall has the same ability the two of them are going to bode well for the future!

Congratulations to Uzzi and Finch!

Go Jackets!

another fan

July 12th, 2012
7:00 pm

hey big gt fan did you watch the games?? Beno did not let Tevin take a hit while pass protecting and he was protecting his blindside for 11 games. I do believe he got the job done!!

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
7:13 pm

OJF—I remember when the 1st blog on Devine & Hall came out, I watched the video of a camp strictly for lineman. Devine was never beaten at all & Hall was almost as good. They were both most impressive. Being an “old” OL LT, I was very pleased when Devine committed & then Hall joined him.

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
7:17 pm

Just realized I missed something! What watch list is Finch on??

Ol'JacketFan

July 12th, 2012
8:57 pm

1 4 GT, take a look the video from the “Opening” Nike camp. He’s very agile and obvously strong, he handled himself extremely well against some of the best competition i the country! Add Devine and Hall to Mason and Braun you’ve got a tremendously talented O line.

Ol'JacketFan

July 12th, 2012
8:58 pm

Oh and Finch is on the Remington watch list for the best center in D1

HighTech

July 12th, 2012
9:23 pm

1 4 GT…do you think the International Wrecking Crew will be redshirted or do you think we will see them on the field this season?

Hashbrown Dwag

July 12th, 2012
9:28 pm

LOLOLOL hasbrowns, Cowell an St Richt…..THWG

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
10:36 pm

High Tech, I got no inside knowledge. But, I hope & think they will get playing time this season, If Kallon & Gotsis? (the Aussie) are everything they are cracked up to be, I don’t see how the coaches can not play them. For a kid to have 13 scholarship offers before he played a down of game time football, someone please tell me how you keep him off the field. As for Gotsis, from what I have seen & read, he is much the same–some guys are naturals & I think I have some of them on video and they are signed or committed to GT. Kallon–Gotsis–Devine–Hall–these guys looked like they were born knowing how to play their positions. I can hardly wait for the 1st game. I get more anxious every day!! GOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie dwags

1 4 GT

July 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

God, but I love that guy at the Georgie/MSU bowl game holding up that big ole sign–”GO DWAGS”!! 1 more thing to gig ‘em with!

Crazy Robert

July 13th, 2012
6:58 am

Julian Burnett can still be a big contributor to the team. He can help his teammates keep their heads on straight, help them focus on the big picture, aka, winning. Hope the coach will keep him on the sidelines, a good opportunity for him to help the team as well as learn basic coaching skills he may use later. GO TECH!!!!

OldGold1964

July 13th, 2012
7:47 am

Banana suits and being chased by fake gorillzs? Not at my Institution, you don’t. That should be reserved for frat parties, not internships. (Seventh inning stretch at baseball games excluded.)

www

July 13th, 2012
12:47 pm

oldgold1964, no one asked you. let the guy enjoy his internship.

LG

July 13th, 2012
1:43 pm

Offense has never been the problem! The defense needs to step up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LG

July 13th, 2012
1:46 pm

Looking forward to having Harrison Butker kick next year! GT fans are gong to love this kid!

GTFan

July 13th, 2012
4:33 pm

Ready for GT Football!!!!

gt4ever

July 13th, 2012
5:53 pm

Great Job Uzzi…. Looking forward to a successful and healthy year….

gt4ever

July 13th, 2012
5:55 pm

@LG

The offense is the PROBLEM. They can’t score against good defenses, and some not so good… i.e. Air Force Academy…. I mean get a grip….

WOW

July 19th, 2012
1:28 pm

Are you ready for some football? Oh, yea baby!!!! Best time of the year….for sure!! Go JACKETS!!