EZ Does It: Nwachukwu returns to Allen for Texas vs. The Nation
Being an Allen alum, Texas A&M senior wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu, a.k.a. EZ, knows a lot about the new Eagle Stadium.
He just doesn't know what it's like to play there.
"Whenever any of the guys talk about the stadium, they look at me," Nwachukwu said. "And I'm saying, 'look, we had at lot of fields when I was here; the Track Stadium, the old Eagle Stadium, but we didn't have this."
Nwachukwu got an opportunity to play in the new stadium for the first time Tuesday during the opening day of practice for Texas vs. The Nation, a college senior all-star game slated for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Eagle Stadium.
"It's funny, I'm sure when EZ graduated he was thinking, 'OK great, now you build the new stadium,'" said Jeff Fleener, Allen offensive coordinator. "But now he gets a chance to play here and it's a fun experience just having him back."
Eagles head coach Tom Westerberg echoed those sentiments.
"It's awesome having EZ back," he said. "We've already gotten to reconnect and talk about a lot of stuff and I'm excited to see how he does during the week."
As much as people are excited for Nwachukwu to be back in Allen, he is just as excited to return to the school where he won a Class 5A Division I State Championship in 2008 as a starting wide receiver.
"It's a blessing to come back to where I really started my career," Nwachukwu said. "I've already got to see a bunch of old friends and also had the opportunity to tell a lot of people how appreciative I am of them for getting me to where I am now. It really is amazing ... it's like a dream come true to come back here and hopefully start my new career."
Nwachukwu returns to Allen as one of the greatest wideouts in A&M history.
The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder entered his senior season as just one of four Aggies (Jeff Fuller, Terrence Murphy, Ryan Swope) with more than 120 catches, 1,500 yards and 10 career touchdowns. Nwachukwu padded those stats further as a senior, finishing his four-year run with a combined 152 catches, 2,239 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
He was also a starter for an A&M team that went 11-2 and finished in the top 5 of the final AP poll for the first time since 1956.
"When the new coaching staff came in, we all talked (especially the seniors) about how we wanted to be remembered," Nwachukwu said. "It was a great ride playing in College Station, playing on Kyle Field and playing with the 12th Man behind us; and I feel like we went out with a bang."
Nwachukwu caught a touchdown pass Jan. 4 in his final collegiate game as A&M dismantled Oklahoma, 41-13, at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
"I feel like my career speaks for itself; the film doesn't lie," Nwachukwu said. "But this is still a great opportunity because you also get to show your personality and character to the scouts, which is one of the reasons a lot of them come down."
Nwachukwu is still displaying his abilities on the field though, as he shook off a tackle from outside linebacker Ja'Gared Davis (SMU) and consistently battled with cornerbacks Kip Edwards (Missouri) and Devin Smith (Wisconsin) during Tuesday's practice. The former Eagle is also expected to be a presence on special teams during Saturday's game.
"I pride myself on my versatility and athleticism, so I want to show off my abilities," Nwachukwu said. "I want to show teams that I'm not just a wide receiver, that I can make plays wherever I go."