Sept. 3, 2014
Senior CJ Uzomah after a big catch for a first down against Arkansas. (Wade Rackley photo)
PLAYER Q&A: CJ Uzomah
When the name C.J. Uzomah comes to mind, it's easy to remember his game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against Mississippi State last season or maybe even his touchdown in the historic 2013 Iron Bowl. The Suwanee, Ga., native enters his senior season for the Tigers as a second team preseason all-SEC selection and on the John Mackey Award watch list, awarded to the nation's top tight end.
Uzomah has been a playmaker for the Tigers since his arrival on The Plains in 2011. That's no secret, but what you might not know about Uzomah is that he's a marketing major who wants to work in professional soccer once his football playing days are over.
Q: What was your first experience in Jordan-Hare Stadium?
A: "I was in ninth grade. I came with my parents and their two really good friends. I remember we played Southern Mississippi, and I fell in love with the place and the stadium atmosphere. I don't remember the score, but I know we won, and I remember it was amazing. I just remember thinking, `I'm in, I'm all in."
Q: What about your game-winning touchdown vs. Mississippi State last season?
A: "That was the most insane thing ever. I like to be counted on in high pressure situations, and that definitely was one. Once Nick threw the ball, I knew I was going to catch it. It was great to be a part of giving the fans an SEC win."
Q: Have you always played tight end?
A: "No actually. I thought I was going to play quarterback. I was a quarterback in high school and throughout my childhood. I knew I wanted to come to Auburn, and when they asked me to play another position to help contribute to the team, I was more than happy to make the adjustment."
Q: It's no secret to Auburn fans that you are a soccer extraordinaire. Do you see yourself doing something with soccer in the future?
A: "Oh yes, I'm going to be the next American hero Tim Howard. After football is done, I will be Tim Howard. Just kidding, but after football, I would love to do something with soccer, maybe work for a European team like Chelsea. It's something my dad really got me into."
Q: Word on the street is you're pretty good at FIFA, any teammates able to compete with you?
A: "Word on the street is I'm the best FIFA player south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Definitely best player in Auburn, probably the best you'll ever meet. Yes, I've been beaten, but the point of being the best is learning from your mistakes. I can promise you they won't beat me again. The guys and I have tournaments, and I'm currently the champion. Freshman Sean White may take the crown after I leave, I see some potential, but they just might retire the title when I leave."
Q: What does the "CJ Uzomah Pre-Game Song Playlist" look like?
A: "You would find two things: a little bit of electro house music and then you would find some Disney music to relax myself. I'm really a big fan of Mulan, definitely a go to."
Q: If you could spend the day with any professional athlete, who would it be?
A: "Probably Rafael Nadal or Mario Balotelli, best soccer player on the face of the earth. It'd be cool to talk tennis with Nadal, but Balotelli, that guy is amazing."
Q: Who has served as your inspiration during your football career?
A: "Obviously my parents. They've been a huge part of my athletics' career. They have actually never missed a game since I was 6. Even while I've been in college, they travel everywhere."