Big C.J. Uzomah is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the country next season. The 6-5 1/2, 235 junior at South Gwinnett was a standout last season as he led his team to a 12-1 season in his first year as the starter. A visitor last weekend for Auburn's junior day, Uzomah says that he really enjoyed having the chance to sit down and talk with Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn and the rest of the coaching staff.
"I thought it was great just because I had been there for a game before, but that was a few years ago," Uzomah tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I thought it was a great campus. I liked the facilities and the coaches. I got to sit down one-on-one with coach Malzahn and coach Chizik. I thought that was great. I just really enjoyed myself.
"Having the more elite junior days is good because the coaches get to sit down and have more one-on-one time with guys. I really enjoyed myself. I liked talking to both coaches. I talked to coach Malzahn a little bit more. We got to go into the office with the other quarterback recruits (Jeff Driskel, Kiehl Frazier) and talk to him. We just really got to know him a little bit more and tell us about himself."
In one season under Malzahn's direction Auburn's offense made significant strides in terms of yardage and points in 2009. That's something Uzomah says they saw on Saturday in addition to getting a feel for the kind of offense employed by the Tigers.
"I thought it was great to hear his thoughts on offense," Uzomah says. "We run similar offenses from my high school now in reference to theirs. I think it might make things a little bit easier. Just making that transition to college is already hard enough with game speed, especially in the SEC. Going into an offense like that would be great because it would be a little bit easier to pick up on. We talked a lot about that and how I could be a vital asset to the program and things like that."
"I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for Auburn," he adds. "I didn't really know what to expect. I kind of had an open mind going in. I think they have great coaches there and just great people in general. The atmosphere there is great. I'm looking forward to making another visit there hopefully."
Currently holding 16 offers from some of the top programs in the country, Uzomah will have plenty of choices when it's time to make a decision. He says right now though what he's looking for in a school isn't necessarily the football side of things.
"Coach Chizik made a great point to me," Uzomah says. "Once you get to the point of being a pretty good prospect, most of the schools you visit are going to have good facilities and they're going to have the same academic standards and all that. I think it comes down to the people that are there. Coaches can leave, but if you're comfortable at the campus and you can see yourself being there for four or five years to graduate then I think that will be a very important thing for me."
Because of the interest from schools already Uzomah notes that he plans to check out as many schools as possible in the spring and summer to help him begin to narrow things down heading into his senior year.
"We're going to try to see as many colleges as possible so I can be around the coaches and be able to visit all the campuses," Uzomah says. "I want to dissect everything and make comparisons between colleges I'm interested in. I'm hoping to go to as many junior days as possible."
A wide receiver his sophomore season, Uzomah moved to quarterback in 2009 and responded with a terrific season as his team advanced to the third round of the playoffs before losing to eventual champion Camden County. He finished the season with 1,750 yards passing and 15 touchdowns while adding 800 yards on the ground and 10 scores.