Fellow Seniors Offer Support for Marshall

Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah talks about quarterback Nick Marshall and the 2014 season.

Hoover, Ala.--The player called on to replace Nick Marshall as one of Auburn’s three representatives at SEC Media Days said on Monday that the quarterback’s teammates are disappointed about his run-in with the law, but haven’t lost faith in Marshall.

“He will learn from his mistake and Coach (Gus) Malzahn will address it accordingly,” C.J. Uzomah said. “He is still our leader.”

Marshall was scheduled to attend SEC Media Days along with fellow seniors Gabe Wright and Reese Dismukes.

C.J. Uzomah is shown at SEC Media Days.

“Obviously, as a team we were extremely disappointed, but at the same time we know he is going to learn from this mistake,” Uzomah said. “We still have all of the confidence in the world and faith in him. We know he is going to bounce back from this...He made a mistake, Coach Malzahn will address it and we will get back on track.”

The senior tight end got a call from Malzahn on Sunday asking him to represent the Tigers. Uzomah said he didn’t have to think twice about that decision despite the late invitation. “It is an honor to be here for sure--regardless.

“I love it,” he added. “I feel like it is a privilege to be here representing Auburn along with Gabe (Wright) and Reese (Dismukes). I am sure they feel the exact same week.”

Malzahn declined to reveal what Marshall’s punishment will be and whether or not he will miss any games after being cited for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop in Reynolds, Ga.

Uzomah said he doesn’t know what the punishment will be or if he will miss any games. Asked about the status of No. 2 quarterback, Jeremy Johnson, the senior said, “No disrespect to any of the other quarterbacks in this league, but he could start probably anywhere else in the SEC so we have all of the confidence in the world him.

“This offseason we have been throwing with Nick and Jeremy,” Uzomah pointed out. “We feel confident and comfortable in everything that he has been doing. He is one of the leaders. He is not a senior, he is not the starting guy, but he is definitely one of the leaders on the field and we trust him with every aspect of playing football.”

Dismukes said that Uzomah is on target. “We have full faith in Jeremy if he has to go out there and play,” the center said.

Wright, a senior defensive lineman, said he agrees with Uzomah about the situation with Marshall and another senior, cornerback Jonathon Mincy, who was arrested for possession of marijuana in a traffic stop in Henry County last month.

“You are disappointed at first when you hear those things, but I feel like it rolls off pretty quick,” Wright said. “I know those guys personality-wise and those two guys, there isn’t any malice. Those guys are truly remorseful for their actions.”

“Guys are really just getting back into our daily lives,” Wright added. “That is the best thing--just to let it go. It's really all in Coach's hands. I know he will make the right decision.”

Asked if he had talked to his teammates about the issues, Wright said, “I'm the type of guy when I make a mistake I do own up to it. Nick owned up to it. I don't need it thrown back in my face. I really hate to bring it up again unless it is with someone who is my boss. As a senior I said this before in a leadership interview, I'm not at the stage where I get loud in get up in some people's faces. I haven’t confronted Nick about it personally.

“I saw him going into the dorm as I was driving by and I just told him that I loved him,” Wright added. “That's all I said. I grabbed him in the team meeting. It's something where I know him personally. I know it's a bad decision and I know he's truly remorseful. I can tell from the look in his eyes and the words coming out of his mouth.”

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