Aug 17, 2013
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - C.J. Uzomah, Auburn's junior tight end, had heard about quarterback Nick Marshall's athleticism. But seeing it at Auburn was an eye-opener anyway.
Uzomah, from North Gwinett in Suwanee, Ga., and Marshall, from Wilcox County in Rochelle, Ga., finished their high school careers in 2010 and signed in 2011. Uzomah chose Auburn and Marshall chose Georgia. But Marshall left Georgia for Garden City (Kan.) Community College and signed with Auburn last February.
"I kind of knew Nick coming out of high school because we came out together and were both from Georgia," Uzomah said Saturday. "Him coming here and showing how athletic he is and how fast he is and his ability to extend the play and make things happen with his legs is something you just have to watch. He's a blazing guy. It's something kind of special."
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said Saturday afternoon that Marshall will be Auburn's startring quarterback against Washington State on Aug. 31. He beat out true freshman Jeremy Johnson and sophomore Jonathan Wallace, who started the last four games of last season.
Uzomah said all have strengths.
"They all have their different niche," Uzomah said. "J-Wall would be the more cerebral guy just because he knows the offense. Nick and Jeremy can extend the play a little bit better."
The quarterback race was reduced by one when junior Kiehl Frazier, Uzomah's roommate, moved to safety a week ago. Uzomah praised him for trying to do what was best for the team.
"He wants to help the team," Uzomah said. "That's really big on his part. He manned up and did that. Now we give him a hard time because he's on the other side of the ball. I tell him I'm going to beat him, but I think he handled himself and the situation really well."
Malzahn said after Saturday's practice that Frazier will play in some capacity in the opener against Washington State. Uzomah said he has been impressive in the transition.
"I think he looks really good. He's been a quarterback, so he knows the scheme. They say he's really starting to pick up the defense well and is going to a big-time threat for them."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: