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  • 2006 USC News

  • Kenechi Udeze

    Position: Defensive End
    School: USC
    Status: Junior
    Height: 6-3
    Weight: 279

    Kenechi Udeze is one of the best players in all of football. He has the size to hold the point of attack on running plays and the explosiveness to be effective rushing the passer. He should be an every-down player in the NFL. He has good speed, a great burst off the line, and natural pass rushing skills. Never stops hustling.

    At USC, Udeze was a three-year starter and guided his team to a 2004 Rose Bowl victory as a senior. He finished his college career with 135 tackles (51 of them for a loss), 28 sacks (a school record), 14 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception, five pass deflections, and two blocked kicks.

    Udeze was drafted by the Vikings out of the University of Southern California in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft with the 20th overall selection. During his rookie season with the Vikings, he started 15 games and recorded 36 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass deflected. As a second year pro Udeze was injured in the Vikings third game of the season with cartilige damage in his left knee, which will keep him out the rest of the year. Udeze finished the season with 3 games started, 5 tackles, and one sack.

    Although he is just a junior, he does have three years experience as a starter. Along with UCLA's Dave Ball, he finished the 2003 season with the most sacks in Division I- A college football with 16 1/2. He also recorded 56 tackles, forced five fumbles, and 26 tackles for a loss (third in the nation).

    Despite being a starter, Udeze is still a bit raw and needs to work on his technique. He doesn't always get good leverage against offensive linemen, letting them get under his pads. He also needs to learn to use his hands beter to fight off their blocks.

     



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