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Felix Anudike-Uzomah
CFB

Felix Anudike-Uzomah On What Makes Him Successful

  • Justin Melo
  • November 28, 2022
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Kansas State EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah is one of the top pass-rushing prospects in the nation. Anudike-Uzomah has been an absolute menace this season. The Missouri native has recorded 7.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, 37 total tackles, two fumbles forced, and one pass breakup through 11 regular-season contests.

The No. 48 overall player in our latest TDN100 update, in-house scout Kyle Crabbs sent Anudike-Uzomah to the Kansas City Chiefs in his latest NFL mock draft. Anudike-Uzomah’s services will be highly sought after by NFL general managers whenever he decides to declare.

Anudike-Uzomah recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network. Anudike-Uzomah opened up regarding his pass rush arsenal, his preferred tendencies, defending the run, unlocking the art of forcing fumbles, and so much more. 

JM: What’s running through your mind as you prepare to play the regular-season finale against Kansas on November 26? [editor’s note: interview was completed on Nov.23]

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: What’s going through my mind is really just focusing on Kansas. I thought we had a terrific week of practice. The coaching staff put together an excellent game plan for Kansas. I’m ready to get after Kansas in all honesty.

JM: You were born just hours away from campus in Kansas City, Missouri. As a local product, what does it mean to represent Kansas State?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: For a guy like me that was born nearby, they gave me an opportunity to play Division I football. It’s meant the world to me. They’ve allowed me to play football at one of the best Power 5 programs in the country. It was a dream come true that I committed to a program that’s just two hours away from home.

JM: When we turn the tape on, we see a pass rusher that utilizes an explosive first step to threaten the outside shoulder of opposing offensive tackles. How would you describe your pass rush arsenal?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: It’s so different from what it was last season. I had a lot of one-versus-one opportunities last season. Going into this season, we had to cultivate a different approach because we knew I was going to be double-teamed a lot more this year.

I had to switch up my pass-rushing moves as a result. I had to start winning the inside shoulder with more consistency instead of just threatening that outside shoulder with speed. I had to work the insides more. Once you do that, you locate a quicker path to the pocket. It’s easier to record sacks and pressures that way. I worked on that all offseason long. That’s how I prepared for this season.

JM: You’re not getting those same isolated opportunities. Do you think that’s because you were a bit of a secret last season, and opposing defenses are now more aware of the threat you pose?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: Yeah, I guess you can say that. I always knew what I was capable of, though. I learned a lot during my freshman year. I was coming along behind the scenes. I learned a lot from the older guys on our team such as Wyatt Hubert and Bronson Massie. They taught me how to become a difference-making defensive end. I took those teachings and ran with it.

I was slept on a little bit in the beginning, but I’m a big threat now.

JM: You sure are. Do you have a go-to move or two?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: I honestly just like to get my hands on offensive linemen early. I like to test them within the first few reps of a game. That’s how I figure out their tendencies and overall approach. I start to alter my arsenal based on what I learn from them. I like to search for certain tells. I like to get my hands on them first. From there, it depends on what type of tackle he is. Once I get hands on them, I can immediately dissect what type of tackle they are. That’s how I know what type of pass-rushing moves I can put on them.

JM: Do you prefer to rush the passer out of a two-point or three-point stance? Why?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: I honestly like both. It depends on the play. It varies. I feel like I can do both. I don’t prefer one or the other. I’m happy to do whichever stance the play calls for. I don’t have a preference. I’m comfortable with both.

JM: You’ve forced eight career fumbles, including six last season. That’s astounding. That’s not a fluke. What is it about your game that’s allowed you to create so many turnovers?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: One thing about my game is this, I’m always aware of when I’m around the quarterback. I’m always trying to work my hands and get that ball out when I’m close to recording a sack. I want that sack to be a strip-sack. I practice that ability every single day. Whenever we’re doing pass rush drills and working our finishing, I’m very aware of that. I’m trying to figure out how I can create a turnover. I’ve been pretty successful at doing that as you mentioned.

JM: You really have. We touched on this a bit, but you exploded onto the scene with 11.5 sacks in 2021 despite being an inexperienced sophomore last season. You’ve been very productive again this season. What about your game and personality allowed you to hit the ground running?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: I just credit repetition. Just play football, man. I love playing football. I think there’s too much overthinking nowadays. Don’t overthink how to do your job. It’s all about working on repetition and continuing to be a good football player. I just look at my peers and tell everybody to play ball. I play hard. I practice the way I play. If you do that, everything else will take care of itself.

JM: I love that you keep it simple. Which areas of your game are you still working to improve?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: I’m working hard to improve as a run defender. I think I’ve had some success in the run game. I also feel like I can work my hands a little better, work my hand placement. I can attack double teams in the run game with more success. I can get off double teams and shed blocks with more efficiency than I do now. That’s one area I need to work on the most.

JM: I feel like you relish opportunities to stop the run though. Your tape indicates that with your demeanor. What do you enjoy about playing as a run defender?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: The No. 1 thing is I just love competing. I love going up one-versus-one against offensive linemen. Setting the edge and stuffing the run gives me an opportunity to do that. It’s him against me. 

Let’s find out who’s stronger and more physical. I love taking those dudes on. I really do. It’s a mindset. Every time I line up to stop the run, I just want to give it my all. I just want to compete. That’s why I love the run game. I love playing against tackles and being in the trenches. It’s the best place to be.

JM: We love that answer. Are there any pass rushers that you enjoy studying at the next level? Anybody you model your game after?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: He’s probably a common answer but Myles Garrett is my answer. I model my game after him. He’s such an effective pass rusher. His speed and power are just phenomenal. I base my pass-rush arsenal on what he does.

JM: What’s the best game you’ve ever played in a Kansas State jersey and why?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: That’s a tough question. There are a number of them. The two games I played against Texas Tech come to mind. The TCU game from last season was another good one.

JM: I’ve appreciated your time today. In closing, what comes next for Felix Anudike-Uzomah?

Felix Anudike-Uzomah: I’m just focused on beating Kansas. That’s for real. It’s the only thing I’m thinking of. It’s a rivalry game. It’s their Super Bowl, and it’s our Super Bowl as well. We have to prepare to attack them.

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Justin Melo