Much has been made about Alabama stars Bryce Young and Will Anderson choosing to play in the Sugar Bowl later this week against Kansas State when most other elite NFL Draft prospects are deciding to “opt out” of postseason games.
But let’s not forget that the Wildcats have some future NFL prospects on their roster, too.
No one would have blamed Felix Anudike-Uzomah, in particular, for skipping this game and focusing on his future as a professional athlete.
The junior K-State defensive end was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after piling up 44 tackles and sacking opposing quarterbacks 8 1/2 times this season. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, he is one of the most difficult edge rushers to block in all of college football.
Anudike-Uzomah will hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft if he decides to declare early as a junior, or in 2024, if he chooses to return to college for one more year.
For now, he is torn on when he should make the leap.
“I haven’t really decided that yet,” Anudike-Uzomah said Wednesday. “I’m still talking with my parents about it, just to make sure I finalize things and make the right decision on what I’m going to do.
“Right now, I really want to focus on this. If you ask me questions about it after the game I can probably give you a better answer. But I’m still not 100% sure on it.”
It was much easier for him to decide to play against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
There was never a doubt in his mind on that topic. He thinks fellow K-State stars Deuce Vaughn and Cooper Beebe felt the same way. The phrase “opt out” is not in their vocabulary.
“We didn’t consider it,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “Me and Deuce said, ‘We have worked so hard for this team. Why would we just leave it?’ We want to go finish it.
“We have put in so much hard work. It took us three years to do this, me and Deuce, and it has been a dream come true to be here in New Orleans. I’m not going to lie, I never thought I would be in the Sugar Bowl. We worked super hard to be in this place right now, especially against a great team like Alabama.”
Now that the Wildcats are here, Anudike-Uzomah wants to prove that they have just as much talent as the Crimson Tide.
That’s one more reason why he thought the NFL could wait until after at least one more college game.
“People don’t really talk about us, because all of our guys were under-recruited,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “We were all mostly three-star recruits, a few four-stars. We are underrated, but I like that because heart is over stars.”
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