Auburn notebook: Uzomah should be ready for BCS title game
by Ryan Black
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Dec 18, 2013 | 1683 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah catches the game winning TD against Mississippi State earlier this season. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah catches the game winning TD against Mississippi State earlier this season. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
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AUBURN — C.J. Uzomah felt awful.

Back in his home state, the Georgia native was hoping he would be able to impress friends and family on hand for the SEC Championship game on Dec. 7. That never came to pass.

The junior tight end played only one snap, limited due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the Iron Bowl.

“I definitely wanted to get out there and help contribute,” he said. “At the same time, Tre (Mason) was putting the team on his back, the O-line was putting the game on their backs and receivers were making plays. The blocking on the perimeter was superb. So I was like, ‘Well, we’re pounding it down their throat and we’re doing really well,’ so I just accepted it.”

Uzomah had Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest to thank for being a non-factor against Missouri. As Uzomah described it, the shoulder injury occurred when DePriest “hit me out of nowhere when I was blocking” on Auburn’s second possession of the Iron Bowl..

“I got a little nicked up and … still played the rest of the game, just kind of running off adrenaline,” he said. “But (the coaching staff) just wanted to kind of play cool with me and make sure I didn’t do any further injury to it. But I’m doing a lot better. I’ve been practicing a lot, so that’s good.”

Uzomah, who has nine receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns (tied for second-most on the team) this season, said he was confident he’d be 100 percent by the time the BCS National Championship game arrives on Jan. 6.

Another honor: In what has become routine at this point, Tre Mason was named to another All-American team on Wednesday.

This time, the recognition came from the Football Writers Association of America, which put Auburn’s junior running back on its All-America second team. This added to his already-lengthy list of All-America honors, which include a first-team nomination from Sporting News, a pair of second-team designations from the Associated Press and USA Today, SEC offensive player of the year awards from the league’s coaches as well as the AP and a sixth-place finish in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Uzomah said all of the accolades for Mason are well-deserved.

“He’s worked his butt off,” the tight end said of his fellow junior. “He came in and that was one of his first goals — the first thing we talked about, obviously, was winning the national championship and second was his individual accolades (and) him hoping to become a Heisman candidate. He’s done a great job this year. You can tell his work ethic on and off the field. He’s a competitor and he fights, so being able to see him at that level is truly rewarding. I’m proud of him.”

Mason was joined on the FWAA’s second-team by left tackle Greg Robinson. The third-year sophomore was also named to the AP’s All-America third-team on Tuesday.

BCS title game watch party: Auburn fans who can’t make it out to Pasadena, Calif., to attend the BCS National Championship game will have another option on Jan. 6.

The school announced Wednesday that it will open Auburn Arena for those seeking a place to watch the BCS title contest. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. ET, with the game set to begin at 8:30 p.m.

There is no fee to attend the watch party.

Fans can enter through either the main entrance on the north side of the arena or the scholarship entrance near the parking lot. Parking is available in all Auburn University lots, but RVs are not permitted.

The concession stands will also be open, but attendees are not allowed to bring outside food or beverages into the arena.
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