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Kenechi Udeze
Defensive end
Jersey #(s)
Born March 5, 1983 (1983-03-05) (age 26)
Los Angeles, California
Career information
Year(s) 20042007
NFL Draft 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
College Southern California
Professional teams
Career stats
Tackles 117
Sacks 11.0
Forced fumbles 2
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Kenechi Nduka Udeze [pronounced /kəˈnɛtʃi uːˈdɛzeɪ/] (born March 5, 1983 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American football defensive end of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings 20th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Southern California.

After missing the 2008 season following diagnosis and treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Udeze retired from the NFL in July 2009.[1]

Steve Sarkisian (Head Coach University of Washington Football) recently announced after a fall camp practice that Udeze would be coming on staff as the new Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the University of Washington Football Team.

Udeze was baptized as a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 25, 2009.


College career

Udeze attended the University of Southern California, and was a three-year starter and helped his team to a 2004 Rose Bowl victory as a junior. 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.

Professional career


Minnesota Vikings

Early career

Udeze was drafted by the Vikings out of USC 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 cartilage damage in his left knee, which kept him out the rest of the year. Udeze finished the season with 3 games started, 5 tackles, and one sack. In 2006 he was once again the starter at left defensive end, playing 16 games, starting 15 and recorded 29 tackles and no sacks. The following year he again playing in all 16 games, with 15 starts, and had 47 tackles and five sacks.


On February 11, 2008, it was announced that Udeze was diagnosed by doctors with a form of leukemia: acute lymphoblastic leukemia. KMSP-TV (Ch. 9) also reported that Udeze was at Fairview Southdale Hospital undergoing tests and that he was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester the week before[2]. Udeze revealed that his acute leukemia is in a state of remission. Udeze will get a bone marrow transplant from his brother. He says he plans to play football again someday, but says health is his No. 1 priority for now.[3]

The Vikings placed Udeze on the non-football injury list and eventually injured reserve in July 2008, ending his season. Udeze returned to the Metrodome as an honorary captain for a game against the Green Bay Packers on November 9, 2008, again stating he would return. "You know what? I'll be back next year," Udeze told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.[4]


Udeze announced on July 29, 2009 that he would retire from NFL football./>


External links


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