After a two sack performance against VMI this weekend, Chima Uzowihe now handily leads the team with 5.5 sacks, and is the co-leader in the Big South. His contributions in the pass rush have been vital to the defense’s success in recent weeks, being the only consistent presence to get behind O-lines. We got a chance to catch up with Chima this past Tuesday and get his thoughts on his breakout Sophomore campaign.

“I did a lot of pass rushing and tried to get faster and build my endurance because I knew I was going to have a bigger role,” Uzowihe told us, accrediting his progress to work in the offseason. He went on to say how much of a help it had been to learn from some of the leaders on defense.  “Like Kevin Fogg, Cory Freeman, Walt Aikens, all of them I love it. They bring such a sense of leadership, and they teach me how to be a leader.”

At just 240 pounds, Uzowihe is considered to be a quite undersized defensive lineman, but this really hasn’t been an issue. In fact, his quickness and speed off the line is a lot of what has led to his success this year and allowed him to be effective. It will be interesting to see if the coaches want Chima to bulk up in the offseason or if they are satisfied with his current physique.

After a couple of solid performances by the defense, only allowing 7 points over the course of two games, Chima said it feels like everything is finally coming together. “We all got together and said, ‘we’ve got to put our best foot forward.’ We should’ve been already, but now is the time if anything, and it’s finally starting to come together.” When the defense is at the top of their potential, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Uzowihe's 5.5 sacks have totaled for 41 yards lost for opposing offenses this year.

Uzowihe’s 5.5 sacks have totaled for 41 yards lost for opposing offenses this year.

With Francis Bah, Cory Freeman, and Jibrille Fewell all departing next year, Uzowihe will be transitioning from being one of the younger guys, to being the experienced leader. “I’m pretty nervous about that,” Chima said in our interview, “I’m trying to take from Cory Freeman and Jibrille Fewell, learning from them how to be a leader so I can step into that role.” The defense will look a lot different next season, but with some young talent like Uzowihe stepping up, there is a lot of promise that this group will hold their own.

After coming in as a last second recruit last year, it is pretty amazing that Uzowihe now finds himself at the top of the Big South sack list. He seems like a player who is committed to getting better in huge leaps every year, looking like he will have a very successful career at Liberty.

We’d like to thank Chima for his time and wish him the best of luck as we hit the final stretch of the 2013 season.