Quarterback or not, Auburn is the place for C.J. Uzomah

Quarterback won't be the primary position for C.J. Uzomah at Auburn, which received his commitment on Saturday. (AJC photo by Josh Weiss)

Quarterback won't be the primary position for C.J. Uzomah at Auburn, which received his commitment on Saturday. (AJC photo by Josh Weiss)

In the end, being able to play quarterback in college was not the end-all for C.J. Uzomah.

North Gwinnett’s star signalcaller committed to Auburn on Saturday as a wide receiver, but with a twist. Offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn promises a package of plays for Uzomah as the “wildcat” in the Wildcat formation.

But Uzomah said that was a secondary consideration.

“They want to use me kind of as a wideout/slot receiver but they also want me to be a quarterback in their Wildcat package,” said Uzomah, who committed to the Tigers before Saturday’s workouts with his North Gwinnett team. “They showed me some film of how they would use me and that was pretty cool. Coach Malzahn is an innovative offensive mind and they have a great offense.

“But that wasn’t the main thing. Really it was just the feel of the campus and the community and the whole thing. There’s no place like it to me. Forty years down there road I know I’ll say I made the right decision.”

It’s not like Uzomah didn’t look around. In fact, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound athlete with more than a dozen offers gave LSU an extra hard look. Uzomah spent Tuesday in Baton Rouge touring the campus and facilities with his family. And Les Miles gave him a hard pitch. They offered Uzomah as a quarterback with the caveat of moving him to wide receiver if things didn’t work out under center.

“I guess in the back of my head I always knew Auburn was the best fit for me, but I wanted to be sure,” said Uzomah, who gets a four-star rating from Scout, three stars from Rivals. “That’s why took some visits and went to LSU. But with Auburn, I just got a feel for the place and got to know some of the guys that are going there. I talk to Kiehl Frazier a lot and we’ve gotten to be good friends.”

Frazier is a highly-touted quarterback from Arkansas, who is already committed to Auburn.

Uzomah threw for more than 1,700 yards and 14 TDs as a junior and led North Gwinnett to a one-loss season. So does it bother him that some teams had doubts about him as a quarterback on the next level?

“I take it as a compliment that they believe I’m a good enough athlete I could play positions other than quarterback,” said Uzomah, who played wideout for the Bulldogs as a sophomore.

As for the local teams, Uzomah just couldn’t make a connection.

Of Georgia Tech, he said: “It really wasn’t that big of a recruitment. I think some of that was on my end just because I don’t think I communicated well with them. We just never got anything going.”

Of Georgia, he said: “I think they had a good idea that Christian LeMay was going to be coming as their quarterback. After he committed it just kind of dissipated after that. They offered me as a wide receiver as a sophomore but I think they got some commitments they wanted there, too.”

Uzomah said he’s thrilled to have the decision behind him just as preseason practices get under way.

“We’ve got a countdown clock in the lockerroom to the Grayson exhibition game,” he said. “I kept looking at it and it was winding down fast. We have a tough schedule and I really wanted to get this out of the way so I could focus the season.”

113 comments Add your comment

trey b.

August 1st, 2010
6:11 am

FREEDYG

August 1st, 2010
6:37 am

2nd… Auburn just got a good player….

GTDog

August 1st, 2010
7:34 am

He is a heck of a player, and sounds like he has a pretty good head on his shoulders based on the short quips.

Auburn’s starting to scare me a bit. The coaching and recruiting looks good over there and I get really nervous when we get a long win streak going against a good program. We’ve won, what, four in a row? You can’t beat a good program forever…

Paddy

August 1st, 2010
7:55 am

GTDog….you are right about AU going in the right direction. They are lying in the weeds right now but that is always dangerous to those passing bye.

Heart Attack

August 1st, 2010
8:09 am

As usual, nobody gives a rats arse about Teck.

bdawg

August 1st, 2010
8:26 am

Good for the kid. Chip what’s going on with the recruitment of the two RBs visiting the UGA campus this weekend and what’s the latest news on Jay Rome. Auburn is doing a great job recruiting and they are signing playeres from all over the country. They seem to be doing a better recruiting job than UGA, especially on the offensive side of the ball. It seems to me that UGA can get the recruits to campus but, they can’t seem to close the deal. I hope that I am wrong about the UGA OC, but I’m not impressed with what he’s doing and his play calling is a little Pop Warner. Playcallling has got to be more creative, if not it’s going to be a long season. Talent can only take you so far and then you have to start coaching.

Alabama Jack

August 1st, 2010
8:39 am

Chip, hope your wife is doing better.

#2 Bama Fan

August 1st, 2010
8:46 am

Sounds like the kid has a good head on his shoulders and good luck in the future!!

Terry Pendleton

August 1st, 2010
9:10 am

This is Auburn, not Tech.

August 1st, 2010
9:16 am

As usual, another Redneck talking crap about Tech even when the article is not about Tech. Typical.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

August 1st, 2010
9:21 am

There was no where on the depth chart for him at UGA. He’s a good player and will help Auburn.

Glory Glory

August 1st, 2010
9:25 am

Auburn, get cho popcorn ready!! Cause you’re gonna be crying while you eat after every game.

Angie Daddy 2

August 1st, 2010
9:31 am

U Got Arrested should be cranking up again this week. The ink should be readily flowing on the jail blotter. Seems like most good recruits are going elsewhere anyway but that should be foreseen because of the state of the program in mutt land. Better have a good supply of Rolaids on hand in Columbia this year along with the usual beat downs from Rocky Top and Florida.

GTDog

August 1st, 2010
9:40 am

Hey Angie D., let us know your team so we can have a civil discussion here…

dandydawg

August 1st, 2010
9:42 am

Wow!!! A great pickup by Auburn. This kid seems well rounded…. Here’s wishing for and 11-1 season. I know y’all want that 12-0 season, but I am hoping we can beat you. Best of luck as you guys are stocking up. Great kids, great school and great coaching staff.

1eyedJack

August 1st, 2010
9:56 am

I think he will grow into a tight end.

Chuy Dawg

August 1st, 2010
10:05 am

Great talent, good kid overall.

People talking smack about UGA just don’t know what they’re talking about. CJ was not that high on UGA’s list as a QB prospects, they liked him more as a slot receiver. During the year UGA got a few WR’s commited while CJ did the smart thing and looked around at other programs where he could play QB. UGA has only one spot left for WR and they are using all their efforts to get Ty Montgomerie of Texas or Quan Bray of Hogansville, GA. The only position that could possibly work is TE, and UGA is locked in on the best TE in the country and is looking pretty good by the way; Jay Rome out of Valdosta, GA.

That’s what will happen in a state like GA that produces a great deal of talent. It just was never meant to be for CJ with any of the home schools. Good luck to the kid, seems like Auburn got a good ballplayer.

AUTigress

August 1st, 2010
10:17 am

Welcome to the Auburn Family!

hung lee lo

August 1st, 2010
10:21 am

Yellow Fuzz, he sooooo horny !!!

uhoh

August 1st, 2010
10:25 am

“But that wasn’t the main thing. Really it was just the feel of the campus and the community and the whole thing. There’s no place like it to me. Forty years down there road I know I’ll say I made the right decision.”

I know exactly what you mean. Every word is true

Welcome home young man.

[...] Uzomah told the AJC: “They want to use me kind of as a wideout/slot receiver but they also want me to be a quarterback in their Wildcat package,” said Uzomah, who committed to the Tigers before Saturday’s workouts with his North Gwinnett team. “They showed me some film of how they would use me and that was pretty cool. Coach Malzahn is an innovative offensive mind and they have a great offense.” [...]

Big DiDi

August 1st, 2010
10:41 am

Well go on to Auhbun and have fun. Just remember Malzahn lied before and he is still a lier…

SKB

August 1st, 2010
11:17 am

Good pick by Auburn. This kid is very talented and a big future ahead of himself.

PMC

August 1st, 2010
11:51 am

He’s got teriffic ability and great size. He could be a Hines Ward type of player and he’s bigger. Malzan will be able to use him effectively in a lot of situations. Good for Auburn. Congrats to Uzomah.

lawzoo

August 1st, 2010
11:54 am

Looks like a very good pick up for about anyone. Question: Has ‘Em Dawgs ever lost anyone they really wanted? Apparently there is “no room on the depth chart” for any kid that goes somewhere else.

Geaux Tigers!

August 1st, 2010
11:58 am

Would have loved to see this kid in Purple and Gold but cant fault a kid for going where his heart takes him. Good luck!

James

August 1st, 2010
12:00 pm

Any Georgia high school player who commits to an out of state school should be immediately kicked off their high school football team and forced to pay back the cost of coaching and facilities they used to develop their skills. Why should my tax dollars go to support a football team in another state especially one that plays UGA each year? Only players who are passed on by UGA and are granted a waiver should be able to commit to an out of state school without losing eligibility to play on their high school team. I’m sure the demoncrats will hate my proposal which is more reason to make it the law.

shane#1

August 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

Welcome back Chip. I hope everything is well with you. Good luck to the kid, except for one Saturday a year.

dawgster

August 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

Lawzoo, you answered your own comments…the dawgs can not sign everyone just because they are from the state..what don’t you understand about depth charts on these college teams…Yes there will be players that we will miss on and don’t sign and it will be easy to be a second guesser…but evaluate the players based on need and players that are committed or you think that will committ…don’t be so quick to bash the coaching efforts on these recruits…yes he is a very good player and congrats to Au for having a place for him…Believe me you will be happy with the dawg recruiting results this year, but we wont get them all…

Idliva

August 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

James, that makes no sense. My child goes to privet school. Would he be exempt from your law? Can we get a refund on the tax dollars we pay every year to the public school system that he does not attend?

James

August 1st, 2010
12:23 pm

Idliva, the law would only apply to those attending tax payer supported schools. Your child would be free to play ball anywhere since it wasn’t my tax dollars that were used. And yes, I think you should get a refund as should anyone who doesn’t have children in public schools. If the player’s family can’t pay back the high school, the NCAA should allow the out of state college to pay off the player’s debt in order to get them on their team. In no case should the tax payers of Georgia end up paying to train someone to play against UGA.

TG

August 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

James you are an idiot.

Dave Cutler

August 1st, 2010
12:30 pm

I don’t think anyone is talking crap about UGA, but at the same time, lets not be arrogant and say UGA didn’t have any room for him. The fact is, you always have room for a player like this…he is just a flat out athlete…and can help a team in several ways. There is no guarantee that any player will pan out, so you have to take what you can get. He wasn’t very high on Auburn’s recruiting list either, and he knows going in he will likely not be the stater, as we already have a commitment from the nation’s #2 dual threat QB in Keihl Frazier…The bottom line is Auburn is happy to have him and anyone with a knowledge of football would be happy too. Welcome to the Plains. War Eagle.

Tom

August 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Auburn should scare some people. The players are rolling in. If they can solve their defensive problems Auburn will win a national championship in the next year or two. Too much talent.

Jim

August 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

Actually Auburn might win a national championship next week if the media treats them right. Wow. That would make UGA the only SEC school of the major six not to win a national title since the BCS 1998.

mc 5

August 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

Uzomah moving back to a receiver sounds like a North Gwinnett encouraged move so they can have the back up from Buford to play QB this year.Young man you have all the tools to play QB at the next level. Don’t be swayed to give up the most important position on a football team.

James

August 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

TG, if you disagree with my opinion, feel free to post counterpoints but don’t resort to name calling. It doesn’t make you look good and does nothing to advance your point of view.

j

August 1st, 2010
12:52 pm

why would any team switch a 6-6 QB to WR? makes absolutely no sense.

a 6-6 player runing the option is a disaster. his strides are too long.

this guy will be a te by the time he graduates.

bsmada

August 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

I guess j didn’t see Vince Young win the national championship versus USC. Hopefully CJ will have some of the talent of Vince.

ugag is irrelevant

August 1st, 2010
1:09 pm

at least he’ll get a decent education

ryan

August 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

Xzavier Dixzon was a Bama lean but UGA is now in the lead plus Jay Rome is getting more comfortable UGA and also Malcom Mitchel the Dawgs are going to be surprise team in recruiting Todd Graham has done a great job .

Slim

August 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

It doesn’t matter who Auburn recruits….their bag of tricks from last year are well known and they’re praying that they have the same record as last year. With the cheese guy as their leader…they’re going no where fast. Auburn can’t beat UGA no matter who they recruit.

Crazy Hoops

August 1st, 2010
2:15 pm

James: First you sound like a jealous fan because a standout athlete decided to go to a school and play in a program that he “feels most comfortable at”. Secondly, your proposed would never be passed because it has no legal grounds. .

Dude, we all pay taxes and its called freedom. I think this is the basis of what this country was built on. A good player doesn’t chose UGA, so what. Georgia will get it share of players.

I am no scholar on constitutional law, but I am almost certain that a law like that would NEVER be proposed because it certainly sounds unconstitutional.
James, it obvious that you are a big UGA fan, which is fine, but your love for the Dawgs is not shared by everybody in Georgia.

Here is something to think about: Family moves to Georgia because player dad’s company transfers him. Son is standout player, but grew up in Ohio as a big Ohio State fan. Georgia is recruiting him also. The family is penalized because he didn’t chose Georgia over the team and program he grew up rooting for.

Another scenario: Dad is in the military, and stationed in Georgia for last three years of his son’s high school career. Son is standout player with many offers including UGA, he wants to go to an out-of-town college. Georgia says no. Would his family, whose father fights for the various freedoms we enjoy, be obligated to pay the state back since his son doesn’t have the FREEDOM to go to any school of his choice.

Hope you see my counterpoint. And there was no name calling.

Brian

August 1st, 2010
2:43 pm

In addition to your comments Crazy Hoops, I would offer this to James. Would you propose the same law in other states that UGA pulls players from? If so, I guess the parents of Matt Stafford, AJ Green, Knowshon Moreno, Christian LeMay, Orson Charles, Aaron Murray, etc. etc. etc. would have to pay your tax in order to leave their home states to come to UGA. But hey, none of these guys have ever done anything notable, right? See James, this temper tantrum of yours goes both ways.

Crazy Hoops

August 1st, 2010
2:50 pm

Brian: I was thinking the same thing also. And to take it further, what about non-athletes that receive academic scholarships to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Duke, Stanford or Northwestern to name a few. I think you said it best “temper tantrum”.

auman

August 1st, 2010
3:25 pm

Welcome to the AUBURN FAMILY MR. UZOMAH. Auburn is the on the rise .here is another player to show you. WAR EAGLE

wesleywhatwhat

August 1st, 2010
3:34 pm

it’s true, the commenter “james” does sound like a complete moron.

Delbert D.

August 1st, 2010
3:42 pm

James for Governor! Wait, on second thought….

What does where some kid playing high school football have anything to do with where he attends college? If your son plays football in a public school and then joins the Army, or gets a job in another state, do you have to pay back the Georgia taxes for his education?

How about this: If a player at a state university does not go on live and work in that state, does he have to pay back the $75,000 a year or so that was spent on him at the university? I’f James gets elected Governor, that pretty much will stop the University of Georgia’s pipeline to the NFL.

Delbert D.

August 1st, 2010
3:50 pm

Auburn got a good player in Uzomah. His 4-star rating was as a tight end. His size and speed (4.75 40) would seem to translate better to the offensive line or H-back than to a straight wide receiver.

James

August 1st, 2010
4:01 pm

In a few years when the TEA Party has taken over, you’ll see how much of a better system it is. I’m only asking that players who are using Georgia taxpayer money to develop their skills either be loyal to the state or pay back the tax payer money that was used to train them.

To those who replied without resorting to name calling, I thank you for taking the time to do so and for doing so in a respectful manner. We will have to agree to disagree on this issue. Sadly the state will be worse for things remaining the way they are now but when you all have driven the state into the ground and all of our players have gone off to other states paid for by our tax dollars, then you will see the truth. Georgia First!