Kenechi Udeze NFL Bio

Official NFL bio on the Vikings' first-round draft pick of 2004, Southern California's Kenechi Udeze.

Kenechi Udeze
Position: Defensive End
College: Southern California
Height: 6-3
Weight: 287
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

One of the nation's premier defensive ends, Kenechi guided the Trojans to a share of the national title in 2003 as the leader of what was regarded to be the premier defensive line in college football … A dominating pass rusher who combines size, speed and strength to defeat double team coverage … Three three-year starter (36 of 37 games) recorded 135 tackles (94 solos) with 28 sacks for minus-185 yards, 51 stops for losses of 245 yards, a school career-record 14 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception, five pass deflections and two blocked kicks.

Has a compact, thick frame with good overall muscle tone, powerful-looking legs and thighs and well-developed arms … Shows a sudden burst off the snap and has the strength to sit and anchor at the point of attack … Simply defeats the larger blockers when coming off the edge (too fast to contain in isolated coverage) … Quick to react and flow to the ball, staying low in his pads to better utilize his power when plugging the rush lanes … Very aggressive with his hands, generally rocking blockers back with his rip and club moves … Has above-average lateral agility to pursue the plays coming from the back side … Keeps his feet and displays excellent change-of-direction agility to move through traffic and make plays laterally … Stays in control and is difficult to knock down due to his wide, strong leg base … Solid tackler who will not hesitate to face up and wrap tackle, doing an excellent job of bringing his hips to drive through the ball carrier … His exceptional closing burst will always find him around the ball and is evident in the way he constantly forces the quarterback out of the alignment … Has a great short-area burst, but is also equally effective accelerating in long pursuit … Uses his arms effectively to keep separation and has the body control to plant and redirect on the move … Quick to read blocking schemes, using a variety of moves (rip, swim, club, jerk) with his long arms to combat blocks en route to the quarterback … Will usually be in great position to make the plays … His strong arms and superb leg drive allows him to attack ball carriers with a vengeance … Keeps his head on a swivel and is very alert when penetrating the backfield … His bull rush is quite effective in attempts to collapse the pocket … Despite a high motor, he is well-coached and knows to stay in control … Has impeccable character and a strong desire to improve … Will make the extra effort in practices, the weight room and film room to make sure that he succeeds.

Negatives: Not the largest pass rusher you will find, but his frame does not appear to have the capacity to add additional bulk (needs to monitor his weight, as added mass negates his sudden burst) … Athletic player, but will lean, reach, lunge and dive to make plays late in the game (stamina issues when tired) … Seems more comfortable working in the box and rarely ventures out in long pursuit, despite having the obvious quickness to excel in that avenue.

4.77 in the 40-yard dash … 430-pound bench press … 33-inch vertical jump.

Attended Verbum Dei (Los Angeles, Calif.) High … His 1999 honors included Super Prep All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 honorable mention, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 honorable mention, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Small Schools first team, All-CIF Division XI first team, Los Angeles Times All-Central City first team and All-Camino Real League Defensive MVP as a senior two-way lineman … Recorded 88 tackles, 24 tackles for losses, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles and three blocked kicks in 1999 … As a 1998 junior, he posted 79 tackles and 14 sacks on defense and did not allow a sack on offense … Also was a shot putter on Verbum Dei's track team, with a best of 56-foot-7.

Sociology major … His nickname, "BKU," stands for Big Kenechi Udeze … His first name means "God's love will always be with me" in Nigerian … Born March 5, 1983 … Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

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