New LB Enjoys Wake-Up Call

Ekenemchukwu Asiodu — call him, "K.C." — went from out of the league one day to being a first-teamer on the Packers' special teams the next.

Ekenemchukwu Dennis Asiodu has a fitting first name.

It means "I Thank God" when translated from Nigerian.

"They call me K.C. It's as simple as that," he said.

Asiodu's NFL career got another chance when he signed with the Packers to bolster their special teams and inside linebacker platoon on Wednesday. During his first practice on Thursday, Asiodu took reps with the first-team kickoff return and punt return units.

"You know, they are world champs, but after you do win, repeating is obviously the goal," he said. "There's going to be a target on our backs every game. We're going to get everyone's best shot. If it's on special teams, I plan to bring my brand of football here, which is well-coached, playing hard and playing physical. If it's defense, I'll do the same there. It's important to work as hard as you can and grind on special teams, because it's a will and a want-to kind of thing, and I definitely have the will and I definitely have the want to."

Asiodu was a defensive back for UNLV as a freshman before moving to linebacker, where he started six as a sophomore. However, the all-Mountain West academic selection had hip surgery following the season and decided to transfer to Division II Central Oklahoma. He was voted the Lone Star Conference's co-linebacker of the year as a senior in 2008.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Asiodu went undrafted and landed with the St. Louis Rams. In 10 games in 2009, he ranked third on the team with 11 tackles on special teams with a blocked kick. After the season, he needed surgery on a sports hernia and was released. He played one game for New Orleans last year and had been out of the league until the Packers came calling.

When he hadn't been invited to a training camp last month, Asiodu admitted to wondering whether his football career was over.

"It's very tough to work out and be ready, because the call can come in anytime," he said. "You have to be prepared for the workout and be in tip-top shape. I just put my faith in the Lord. On tough days, good days, bad days and in between, I just pray every night and every morning."

His prayers apparently were answered when his morning was interrupted on Wednesday. Asiodu, who was born in Los Angeles, admits he prefers to sleep until 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. When the Packers called him at 8 a.m., it was one of the best wake-up calls imaginable.

"They woke me up and said, ‘Be on the plane before 3,' so I was ready to go," he said. "I packed up the suitcase and here I am."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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