Ball State defensive back, Amechi Uzodinma II, has everything you look for when scouting for a corner. Great size at 6-0, 195 LBs, good speed, and quick feet. He has great hips, in coverage, and is rarely in the wrong position. Built with tenacity, you want in your backend, and a swagger, that makes a coach confident in your player. I sat down with the Junior, from Orlando, Florida, over the weekend, and go to pick his brain. Watching the tape it is easy to fall in love with his skill set. As he has the look of a legit CB at the next level. But what stood out to me, was his personality. He was such a humble kid, and while it was an interview about him, he had a hard time not talking about his teammates. That speaks to the type of person Uzodinma, is. The team first, and a true locker room presence, a coach loves to have.
I asked him what it felt like, knowing he has started to become a hot name, amongst football fans, and media alike?
“Honestly, I don’t pay any mind to that, because really, I haven’t done anything yet. To me, I feel like, I have a ton to work on and be better at, I know I have the skillset and the tools. But I don’t care what is being said on the outside. In the locker room, we focus on ourselves, as a team. I play around some really good guys, some really talented players, so I learn from them, and I focus on my team. Not the outside noise. It is a great thing, knowing that I am getting a little buzz, but until I have made it to that level, I don’t care. And even then, I am not going to worry about it, because once I am at that level. I need to focus on getting better every day, at that level. So honestly I don’t pay attention to any of it.”
Ball State, as a whole, is stacked with talent. From WR, to Running back, to defensive back. Watching the tape, you can see the potential of a ton of players, and what they could possibly be at the highest level. Moving forward, he spoke about the talent on the team? and what it’s like playing in the MAC?
“You know you hear it all the time, that we don’t play a tough schedule. But I think that is crazy, really, football is football, and I think we could play with anyone. I think every player in college has to have that mentality, truly have too, because you don’t want to feel like you are being run over, or could be run over. So that noise that we can’t compete, or we don’t play anybody tough that’s false. the MAC has talent all over. Two of the best Running backs are in this conference, with (Caleb) Huntley, and the guy from Buffalo (Jaret Patterson). We have great receivers here, great offenses and defenses. That’s all talk, and we don’t let it bother us. As far as the talent around me, just watch the gamesman. We have dogs, I mean some real players here. I feel like these guys could be playing anywhere, and I think a lot of them are going to be in the NFL. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get that respect as a good team and great conference, but we will just keep grinding, and keep doing what we do. Keep the outside talk, outside.”
Although Amechi, didn’t want to really talk about himself, I asked him to give me a scouting report on himself. I asked him what he needed to work on with his play? and what he felt was his strength?
“Man (he says laughing) you really gonna make me do this huh? I think the things I do well, is hard work. I think I work hard, and I stay focused. I only focus on the things I can control, and try to prepare for things that could happen. So that I think is my strength. As far as what I need to work on, is well, everything. I think even the things I do very well, I need to work on. I think if you as a player are comfortable, you are wrong. I think you get passed up and passed by like that. I need to stay focused and keep that work going. I want to be the best version of me I can be. In the locker room, the field on and off, the classroom, it doesn’t matter to me. I want to continue to be the best me I can be.”
Uzodinma, didn’t want to speak about himself, but luckily he has great teammates, and one of those guys, running mate Antonio Phillips, a rising star in his own right, spoke briefly on his teammate’s play?
“That man is a beast! That’s it, really he is a heck of a player. I feel like he gets better every week, every day. I think he going to be one of the best corners in college football, and I think he is going to play in the NFL. Whatever team gets him, when he does go into the draft is going to get a monster. He is a good guy, and on the field, he turns it on, and it’s fun to watch.”
I could throw stats at you, but I feel like that would only tell a part of the player. I say watch the tape and you will see a true rising star. The kid has all the makings of an NFL playmaker. He is humble, and a great teammate, those things added up with his play, and you have a guy that could be a real difference-maker, at the highest level. With quick hips, clean footwork, and great eye discipline, you have a guy that is as tough to deal with on the field, as it is to pronounce his name. A name that could become a household name soon.