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C.J. Uzomah – “We’ll Get Back on Track”

29906170001_3674748964001_video-still-for-video-3674693780001- Uzomah

                                                                                                                                      (photo:USAToday file)
Gus Malzahn had to face the media Monday after what had to be  a very distressing two weeks, starting with the death of former player Phillip Lutzenkirchen and ending with Friday’s disappointing actions of his starting quarterback. Despite those problems, anyone watching him at SEC Media Days could see he showed the same steely eyed determination that has made his persona famous among the fans.

Malzahn quickly stated yesterday that Nick Marshall will have to pay for his mistake. Although he didn’t volunteer any specifics on what the punishment might entail, it was comforting to hear that a contrite Marshall had stood before the team Sunday night and apologized for letting them down.

His teammates in return have rallied around the senior signal caller. Tight End C.J. Uzomah who replaced Marshall in Hoover fielded a question about the team’s feelings on Marshall:

“As a team we were extremely disappointed, but at the same time we know that he’s going to learn from this mistake … Our trust in him hasn’t faltered at all, and our faith in him is as strong as it’s been. He made a mistake, and Coach Malzahn addressed it, and we’ll get back on track.”

Yet there is still the question of whether Marshall could receive suspension from playing time? That’s a possibility that could easily be read into Malzahn’s remarks to the media, “From our standpoint, we have high expectations. Our quarterbacks are the face of our program.” Gus went on to say, “The good news is we have a guy in Jeremy Johnson that could start for most teams around the country.”

Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean Marshall will be sat down for a game or two. But it may mean that he’ll have to compete all over again with Johnson to get his starting position back. That in itself could be humbling for a guy who has been touted in the off season as a possible Heisman candidate.

Events like what the 2014 Tigers have already had to go through can serve to splinter or bring a cohesiveness to a football team. That intangible quality of team chemistry is a hard enough quality to achieve without having to overcome obstacles like this weekend. The good thing though is there is a lot of senior leadership on this team. Marshall has their support.

Hopefully he will do his penitence and gain back the trust of his coaches as well.  And the Tigers will get back on track toward the goal of successfully defending their SEC Championship.

7 Comments

  1. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    As weird as it sounds I think it comes down to did he come up hot on his urinalysis. If he did I don’t think Malzahn has any wiggle room. Auburn has a pretty tough policy on this. Considering Malzahn’s reaction it sort of sounds like he didn’t. My feeling is that’s why it should be made publi both for him and the other player.

    Besides embarrassing himself, his Mom, his family, and the program that gave him a second chance if all he did was get a fine… he better get some comfortable shoes. Running the steps in Jordan Hare stadium can be brutally hot in August. But he has only himself to blame.

    WDE

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      ……Pot is one of the absolute worst things you can imbibe in, if you’re trying to have a clean drug test. It can take a week or more to clear out of your system. Chronic users can test positive a month after their last toke.

      …..Meanwhile, one can do enough blow or crack Friday afternoon to have a near heart-attack, and test clean on Monday.

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        That’s scary and ridiculous. Talk about a walking time bomb. Jeapordizes the school… and the players around him.

        WDE

  2. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    I am so proud of CJ and his performance. What an AUsome representative he was! Glad he got to showcase his talent of public speaking and that beautiful smile! I don’t think this Senior class is going to put up with nonsense after all they have been through. Nick will pay penitence for sure and I will approve of whatever Gus decides (like he needs my approval!). If the players still think of him as their leader, they are the ones that have to play with him. We know what happens when a locker room is divided. Please don’t let this happen. Otherwise, it’s time to Slaughter the Hogs!!

  3. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Glad to read Nick apologized to the team, that’s a start. But he has alot of work to do to remove the cloud he put over Auburn and Gus Malzahn. I’m hopeful we can look back on this as a positive turning point in Nick Marshall’s life and career.
    Like War Eagle Girl above, I’m impressed with Uzomah. He seems to have a ‘Lutz’ type way about him and that’s the type leadership this team needs right now.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..C. J. is one of my favorite players over the past few year. He’s way under-utilized, I always thought. Even as a true freshman, all they did with him was the end-around pass every couple of games. Last year, he really came on as a dominating blocker, and I’m looking forward to seeing more this season.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Totally agree. Especially after he punctuated the MSU game the way he did.

      I think he has potential… of the Lutzy kind!

      War Eagle!