Auburn Football Stock Report: Riser No. 12

This series of reports features a dozen Auburn football players whose stock is on the rise based on their spring training performances.

Auburn, Ala.--Coming in at number 12 on our list of Auburn football players whose stock is on the rise is sophomore tight end C.J. Uzomah.

With senior Philip Lutzenkirchen out of spring practice after having shoulder surgery over the winter, Uzomah got plenty of reps at tight end and showed he has the ability to give the Tigers another weapon at the position.

At 6-4 and up to 246 pounds, the former high school quarterback played wide receiver last fall for the Tigers and did a solid job in part-time duty. His main use was as a decoy as Uzomah threw three passes, but didn't catch one for the Tigers. Now almost 20 pounds heavier, he has worked hard on his blocking and could be a key contributor in a two-tight end set Auburn is likely to employ in the fall.

Uzomah had a different look in the spring as he's bigger and more physical

With new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's connections to Tom Brady, it won't be a surprise to see Auburn take some wrinkles from the New England Patriots on offense and uses two tight ends as key components in the passing game.

In 2011 Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez combined to catch more than 200 passes for 2,600 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Patriots. Much like Hernandez, Uzomah is a player who could give the Tigers some versatility at the position and complement Lutzenkirchen, who is expected to be the top returning tight end in the SEC this fall.

Signing with Auburn out of North Gwinnett High where Uzomah played both quarterback and wide receiver, Coach Gene Chizik said AU's plan was to eventually move the athletic big man to tight end. With Lutzenkirchen out it made that plan a reality this spring.

"There have been a lot of ex-high school quarterbacks who have become very good tight ends," Chizik pointed out. "He has had one of the best offseasons of anybody on the team. He has worked extremely hard.

"He has gotten strong," the head coach added. "He was very dedicated in the weight room in the offseason getting in shape. What he is going to have to learn is the physicality of the game at that position, which I really feel he will be able to grasp."


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