Auburn commit C.J. Uzomah playing dual role for North Gwinnett

C.J. Uzomah (10) and Scott Housch celebrate Uzomah's 46-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of North Gwinnett's 28-15 win over Grayson in an exhibition game Saturday. (Photo by Brian Kamer/

C.J. Uzomah (10) and Scott Housch celebrate Uzomah's 46-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of North Gwinnett's 28-15 win over Grayson in an exhibition game Saturday. (Photo by Brian Kamer/

A lot of people, including me, enjoyed watching C.J. Uzomah in action for the North Gwinnett Bulldogs in their regionally-televised exhibition game against Grayson this past Saturday. But nobody probably found it more than enjoyable than Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.

The Tigers’ mad scientist of an offensive coordinator spent a lot of time convincing Uzomah he should come to the Plains to play a multiple-position in their offense next year rather than just a plain ol’ quarterback. And Uzomah, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound athlete, concurred with his commitment over LSU and several others late last month.

Well, it just so happens that North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire, a bit of an offensive guru himself, had similar plans for Uzomah this season. So rather than take every meaningful snap at quarterback as he did in leading the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record last season, Uzomah about half the game split out at wide receiver.

And the results were impressive. Uzomah was 8-of-10 passing for 61 yards and two touchdowns as a quarterback and had three catches for another 67 yards — including a 46-yard TD — as a wide receiver in the Bulldogs’ 28-15 win over Grayson. Uzomah also had several good runs out of the backfield.

Meanwhile, Uzomah’s “backup” at quarterback, junior Scott Housch, was 6-of-9 passing for 123 yards and two scores, including the 46-yard deep post to Uzomah. He also had a 48-yard TD strike to Connor Jenkins.

So it worked out well for everybody. Well, except for Grayson.

“I was real pleased,” Sphire said. “Scotty’s ready to play. He’d probably be starting almost anywhere else. So he can play.”

Uzomah played the majority of the first half at quarterback and Housch the majority of the second. Sphire said they ended up almost 50-50 on QB snaps.

“I don’t know that’s exactly what we’ll do every week,” Sphire said. “I think the flow of certain games could dictate one or the other. I don’t know that it will always play out 50-50 but I figure that’s about what it will be by the end of the season.”

LSU and Georgia were among several programs that offered Uzomah as a quarterback, though almost all talked to him about playing other positions if it didn’t work out. At Auburn, Malzahn is talking about lining up Uzomah as a wideout, a tight end and occasionally as the “quarterback” in the wildcat formation he made famous at Arkansas.

That’s all well and good but both Uzomah and Sphire said his dual role at North has nothing to do with what he’ll be doing in college.

“Honestly, it’s about winning now and about getting Scotty prepared for next year,” said Uzomah, who played wide receiver for the Bulldogs as a sophomore when Michael Tamburo was the quarterback. “Going into the season Coach Sphire had a plan and told me he was going to bring in Scotty. Having us both on the team adds another dimension to the offense.”

Said Sphire: “It’s about winning games. That’s the whole thing. C.J. can’t throw it to himself and he’s obviously a matchup problem for the defense. We talked about it last winter. When Scotty’s in there that gives us more playmakers on the field and more options. C.J.’s always been a team player so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem.”

It may be more important than ever that the Bulldogs have more than one opotion at quarterback. They’re having to replace four starters off their offensive line, including SEC signees JaWuan James (Tennessee) and Austin Shepherd (Alabama). And they lost one starter, junior guard Austin Parker, to an MCL sprain this past Saturday. He’s expected to be out at least three or four weeks.

“When I do play quarterback I feel like I bring the ability play physical and move the ball on the ground as well as through the air,” Uzomah said.

Sphire and Malzahn obviously agree.

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26 comments Add your comment

What what

August 16th, 2010
4:03 pm

Chip, what do you know about the talk in these comments??? This is all the talk in South Georgia. Sounds like what’s been going on for years has finally gotten publicity.

What what

August 16th, 2010
4:04 pm

How will such behavior affect recruiting at 2 schools with several college prospects??


August 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

Such an impressive coaching staff at NG.

They seem to be able to get the best out of everybody.

Rick S

August 16th, 2010
4:15 pm

Have you seen how many non-qualifiers receive scholarship offers from Auburn? One of the highest percentages in the SEC- Anything to get the recruits right?

Keep looking

August 16th, 2010
4:26 pm

Hate to break it to all you Beez, but Romar Morris, who you were about to annoint your next B back, has just verballed to UNC. First of the beat downs you insects are going to get. Heels will throttle you in Chapel Hill.


August 16th, 2010
4:28 pm


What’s this I hear about Nick Marshall taking a helmet swing at coach Fitz and punching a player from Fitzgerald after the Wilcox/Fitzgerald scrimmage?

From what I hear the GHSA is looking at the tapes and Marshall is up to be suspended for the year, if the tapes show he had intent to hit coach Fitz.

Sounds like if true you guys will need to add Tuitt in replacement of Marshall, that behavior is not worth of a super 11. Also, if true, the Dawgs can have him.


August 16th, 2010
4:30 pm

keep looking,

Romar Morris was an A-back recruit, not B Back, get it right before you talk s***. Also, A back are dime a dozen for this offense. GT has plenty of depth there. Morris would have been nice, but he wasn’t a necessity.


August 16th, 2010
4:40 pm

All that sounds like a average game for Wilcox. It’s funny none of this behavior is shown on their highlight videos. Their basketball team probably led the state in technicals last year.


August 16th, 2010
5:28 pm

Rumors that Damian Swann may commit any day now it looks good for UGA.


August 16th, 2010
6:19 pm

Huh? Months ago all the Dawg fans has this player pegged to join
the “dream team”. Yep, another Top Playa from the State leaving
Georgia for greener pastures. I’m losing count…


August 16th, 2010
6:41 pm

Sammy D. Swann is very high on UGA and from all the recruiting experts it looks real good so obviously your just blowing smoke hater.


August 16th, 2010
6:44 pm

hey slick (ryan)
This article is about C.J. Check the headline above if you can.


August 16th, 2010
6:48 pm

Sammy d UGA already has a CJ in Nick Marshal yes Auburn has done well but UGA is going to very well with Swann to.


August 16th, 2010
6:48 pm

Saw this on the prep board, can anyone confirm?

“Mike L.

August 14th, 2010
1:40 am
Just watched a brawl following the Fitzgerald-Wilcox scrimmage on the field. Fitzgrald won 53-28. Nick Marshall could easily be facing criminal charges. He is on video hitting Fitzgerald’s head coach and other players with his fist. Number 17 for Wilcox is seen hitting coaches and players with his helmet and stomping a player with his cleats after he knocked him down. Coach Ledford started this with his lack of sportsmanship after getting his but handed to him. Huge melee ensued. The sheriff’s department will be gettng a copy of the tape. As a fan of UGA, I hope UGA sees it and rescinds the scholarship. Marshall is a pure THUG. The coaches let him talk to them however he wants and constantly coddled him during the game. One of the Fitzgerald coaches was taken to the hospital for x-rays after getting hit with a helmet by a Wilcox player. He was certain it was broken.”


August 16th, 2010
7:00 pm

Sammy d are you kidding me just after i said that you come with that garbage how pathetic you just damn jerk .

Auburn Man

August 16th, 2010
7:10 pm

I’ve commented on the fact that Tech fans spend too much time talking trash in posts about a topic that concerns UGA. I now see that UGA fans do the same thing. How does this article take us into anything to do with UGA or Tech much less BASKETBALL? And you guys that can report on what happened at a high school game and who sought medical help as well as diagnosed the condition really need to get out more.

Auburn Man

August 16th, 2010
7:12 pm

@Ryan …your agitation is wrecking your typing. Calm down buddy, no need to curse, it weakens your position in an argument.


August 16th, 2010
7:19 pm

There was nothing i saw about Nick Marshall involved in hitting anyone there was some pushing and shoving but no punches thrown so do your homework before accuse somebody.

bank walker

August 16th, 2010
7:50 pm

The state of Alabama must have real weak high school football. Both schools are having to leach off other states like tennershe. Georgia and Florida must have the best football around. Grow some stones guys and produce some homegrown talent.


August 16th, 2010
8:01 pm

CJ is a super 11 if I have ever seen one. C’mon AJC. Those doggone Tigers are getting a good one, he was ONLY skilled player last year for state AAAAA runner -up.

NG coaching staff will never win a title with piddly offensive scheme, Camden showed them that . Guess Sphire missed looking at the Camden-Grayson game, gotta dominate between the tackles to beat Jeff Herron’s crowd. NG had two of the countries top D1 OT’s and a 230 QB in CJ so don’t brag on that coaching staff.

Hate rednecks

August 16th, 2010
8:43 pm

Sambo, can’t sign’em all, not enough scholy’s. Had any experience living in a major metro area like Atl?? The best of the best wind up in the ATL. Lots of grads from every SEC and ACC school who still pull for their alma mater. They have kids.
Gettin any clues here??. It’s not like Alabama.
AND good luck to whatever team you pull for.
AND good luck to CJ. Auburn is a great school with a very good program.
AND I’m sorry Sambo, I just hate ignorant comments.
I’m sure in real life your a brain surgeon.

Keep Looking

August 16th, 2010
8:48 pm

GTax, Romar may be worth a dime now that you can’t get him, but you were begging for him just a few days ago. And pick a letter…A, B, D, Q, Z…..your stupid offense can’t work without cutblocks and motion that’s never called.
Clue for ya, dude…the Zebras have been sent film. Lots of film from lots of schools. Not just the Heels. You’re getting grounded.


August 16th, 2010
9:41 pm

Coach Malzahn is one of the best.That why C J picked AUBURN. WAR EAGLE


August 17th, 2010
8:54 am

CJ is such a match up problem on the high school level, at both WR and QB. He brings elite size and athleticism to the offense. Looking for a great year at North before he heads to play for Auburn.


August 17th, 2010
10:01 am

Rick S. is full of it. Only one of AU’s signees from the last class didn’t qualify; as good or better than most of the SEC.


August 17th, 2010
8:22 pm

Rick S and Obama have a lot in common. They are both stupid ,clueless and hate the facts! Ga can’t even get kids that are on the team to Qualify.