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Ken Sugiura

Uzzi eager for second chance

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Former Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi’s gamble did not work out as hoped last spring. After his senior season, he said, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in order to get it out of the way and be ready to compete in an NFL camp.
However, Uzzi’s surgery left him unable to participate in the East-West Shrine Game or at Tech’s pro day. That and perhaps wariness over his physical condition left Uzzi out in the cold. The three-time All-ACC selection was not drafted or signed as a free agent, an unexpected result for someone who had been projected to be a possible late-round draft pick. A year later, though, Uzzi declared himself healthy and ready to try again. He will participate in Tech’s pro day Friday morning, joining Tech’s seniors from the 2013 season.
“Just trying to prove that I’m healthy, prove that I’m ready to play football,” he said Thursday.
Beginning last fall, Uzzi began physical therapy and developed his flexibility and mobility with Fusionetics, a sports training company that he said stressed “getting your joints and body to move the way they’re supposed to move so you’re healthy and stay healthy.”
The surgery, Uzzi said, was “maintenance” to clean up the wear and tear on his knee. Uzzi said he played the 2012 season as less than 100 percent. He was not medically cleared until just prior to the draft, timing that he believes played a part in getting passed over.
He has been doing pro-day training with David Irons, father of former college stars David, Kenny and Grant Irons. For the Jackets’ proud mauler, it may be a last shot to chase a dream. Uzzi said he was antsy more than nervous, “ready go out there and do my thing.”
Having been eligible for the 2013 draft, Uzzi would be eligible to be signed immediately as a free agent.
“If they’ve got my number, they can call me,” he said.

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