It’s always good to keep track of guys that used to be members of the Minnesota Vikings, particularly the ones that caught a bad break or seemed to be genuinely good guys. One of those guys is back in the NFL after spending some time coaching in the college ranks.
The Tennessee Titans have hired former Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze to be an assistant defensive line coach. Udeze has been coaching in the college ranks since 2014, a year after he completed a coaching internship program with the Vikings.
Minnesota made Udeze the 20th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California. He played four seasons with the Vikings, but prior to the 2008 season announced that he had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He missed the 2008 season and attempted to come back in 2009, but couldn’t get back to where he wanted and announced his retirement.
Udeze has been a coach ever since his retirement, mostly in the college ranks. He was a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Washington for four years before becoming an assistant defensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks. After completing the Vikings’ coaching internship program in 2013, he went back to the college ranks, spending time at Pittsburgh, his alma mater USC (as both a strength and conditioning coach and a defensive line coach), LSU, and most recently as the linebackers coach at Vanderbilt.
Kenechi Udeze is the kind of guy that you can always hope for the best for, and it’s good to see him back in the National Football League after his playing career was cut short. Here’s hoping that he kicks ass in Tennessee and continues to climb the coaching ladder.