March 20, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN -- C.J. Uzomah hasn't worked out for his new coaches. That'll come next Wednesday when Auburn starts spring practice.
But that doesn't mean the off-season conditioning program and individual workouts haven't sent a message.
"They've thrown a lot at us to see how we'll react, and we're reacting well right now," Uzomah said Wednesday. "They've thrown a good amount so we can learn it and digest it and understand what they expect of us."
Uzomah stepped in for the injured Philip Lutzenkirchen midway through last season as the starting tight end. He finished with nine catches for 136 yards. He's a tight end now, too, though there's the possibility of playing H-back and slot receiver, too, for new coach Gus Malzahn.
"I'll learn whatever they tell me to learn," Uzomah said.
Why not? He played quarterback, wide receiver, slot receiver, running back and quarterback again during one scoring drive at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga.
The multi-dimensional Uzomah is ready again.
"Coach Malzahn is preaching 'A New Day.' It's going to a different offense and a different structure, and it's a good thing," Uzomah said. "It wasn't hard to adjust to that. The communication between the players and the coaches is what we're focusing on right now, and we're going to have that developed."
It has started in off-season conditioning.
"We've been amping up things, moving from one station to another, no rest time really, which is good. It makes us very tired, and gets us in condition," Uzomah said.
Uzomah is working with quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier, who is his roommate, and Jonathan Wallace in player-only workouts.
"They both are working extremely hard now," Uzomah said. "We throw every day, all the receivers. We're really trying to build that chemistry. I'm really looking forward to working with them more.
"They're coming in. They're watching film on their own. They're organizing meetings with all the receivers, getting our alignment right, all the little things before spring. They're doing a lot. No matter who we have, we're going to be successful."