- Name: Uche Ndukwe
- Position: DT/DE
- College: Princeton
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 275
- Twitter: @undukwe49
- Instagram: cheef_ndukwe
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?
I think I am one of the most underrated draft prospects this year, largely because I wasn’t able to play my entire junior season, and I play in a smaller league, but anyone who watches the tape can clearly see I was the best defensive lineman in the league. I don’t think there were any other players who affected both the run and pass game like I did. On top of that when you look at how dominant our line was at both stopping the run and getting to the QB, our work begins to speak for itself.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
I feel like I was always interested in football. My parents told me my favorite toy growing up was this stuffed football. I actually wasn’t able to play until middle school because my mom thought it was too dangerous, but I knew I needed to play so I told my parents one day that I was going to football practice, and they either had to pull me out of school or let me go.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
I think NFL teams should understand how much work I have put in the game, and how much I love pass rushing. I think rushing the passer is an art, and I consider my pass rush skill as an expression of myself and my love for the game.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
If I could donate to one cause I think it would be equal education access. I think education allows kids to broaden themselves and gives them access to so much, but unfortunately, the system does not provide all citizens with the same level of access.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
In terms of sports, one of my favorite quotes that always sticks with me came from one of my High School basketball captains. His name was James Mortimer, but most people called him Mort, and he just said he loves basketball because it’s fair and you get out what you put in, and I think that is true of all sports, and I remember it often when I am thinking about my goals within football.
Who was your childhood hero?
My parents are my heroes, they both came to this country, and gave me an amazing childhood, and sacrificed so much to get me where I am today.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
Well, I think of myself partially. I just feel like I was just getting started last season before I was forced to miss half the season, although I know by the end of senior year, after I have a whole season to remind the league who I am, it won’t be me. If I had to pick someone else it’s kinda challenging because we have a lot of great players who I think are going to have breakout years. On offense I think Jalen Travis is going to be a beast, and turn a lot of heads. I also think Liam Johnson at middle LB is going to be a problem.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
In general, I would say people who bike slowly in the middle of the road and in football probably people who talk but don’t work.
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
I think I have overcome a lot in my pursuit to become the best player I can be. From being too light, and too weak to not knowing the playbook, and learning a new position, I think the biggest challenge I faced was getting injured before my senior season in high school. I think at that point I realized how much I needed the game in my life, and how much you have to work to get what you want.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
For me it’s less about the school itself, it’s more about the culture around football, and the people in the program. I think we have such a strong winning culture, and that makes such a big difference in the way we train and play, and I just love that. I love winning, I love feeling confident in my teammates, and our ability to dominate every Saturday, and it just makes the game more fun when that is a part of your program. Also, I love my teammates, and the men they are off the field, and couldn’t ask for better friends.
What is your favorite snack food?
Pb and J
What is the best part of football?
Pass rushing and getting sacks!!
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
You can sleep on me now, but not forever.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
Probably Michael Bennett
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Aaron Donald, Malcolm X, and Caesar.