Blazers return to Legion Field face Thundering Herd at 3:30 p.m. CT
Blazers return home to host Pirates on Saturday at Legion Field at 6 p.m. CT
Blazer student-athletes recognized for having 3.0 GPA or better
Blazers and Bulldogs kick off at Legion Field at 11:10 a.m.
AP Photos: UAB vs. Southeastern Louisiana
Has made 25 starts at tight end in his first three UAB seasons ... athletic tight end who will be again be counted on heavily in 2013 ... has emerged as one of top tight ends in Conference USA and garnering national attention as well ... enters senior season with 57 career receptions for 580 yards ... named to 2014 Watch List for John Mackey Award.
2013: Started eight games for the Blazers ... ranked fourth on the team in receptions with 28 for 302 yards ... season-high 62 receiving yards (on five receptions) against Northwestern State ... recorded 57 receiving yards against Florida Atlantic, also registering five catches against the Owls ... had touchdown catches in victories over Northwestern State (1 yard) and FIU (7 yards) ... had a career-long 36-yard reception against Florida Atlantic.
2012: Was significant contributor to Blazer offense as he made nine starts at tight and finished with 23 receptions to tie for No. 5 among UAB pass catchers ... totaled 235 yards and four touchdowns ... his four touchdown catches tied for team lead with Jamarcus Nelson ... recorded at least one reception in 9-of-11 games in 2012 ... was a honorable mention All-Conference USA selection ... posted season and career highs in final game of season as he registered five catches for 78 yards at UCF ... also had four receptions for 43 yards against Southeastern Louisiana ... recorded two touchdown catches in road contest at Tulane ... also caught scoring passes against East Carolina and Memphis ... had a career-long 26-yard catch at UCF.
2011: Made immediate impact in his first season at UAB as he played in all 12 contests and started eight of those ... first start was in game two in Conference USA opener vs. Tulane ... registered six catches during season for 43 yards ... notched a season-best two receptions for 20 yards in victory at Memphis ... season-long catch was 18 yards against Memphis ... also excelled in classroom as he was named to Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
High School: Attended Whitefield Academy in metro-Atlanta area ... a versatile athlete who was standout on both sides of the ball ... two-time all-state performer ... earned second-team honors by Associated Press as a senior tight end ... also listed honorable mention all-state as a defensive lineman by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ... finished the 2010 season with 39 receptions for 494 yards and five touchdowns on offense ... on the defensive side, Backman had 73 tackles with seven sacks ... ranked as the No. 36 prospect in Georgia by Scout.com ... was nominated for U.S. Army All-American Team, one of 21 nominees from state of Georgia ... was a first-team all-state selection as a junior in 2009, earning accolades at tight end by AP and as a defensive lineman by the Journal-Constitution ... also earned all-state honors as a junior by Georgia Sports Writers Association ... registered 33 receptions for 487 yards with three touchdowns as a junior ... coached by Jimmy Fields at Whitefield Academy.
Personal: Born Feb. 26, 1993 at Atlanta, Ga. ... son of Krashenda Backman and Charles Okoli ... major is business.