NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.
True Junior | 6-4 | 253 lbs. | Lee’s Summit, Missouri
- Position: Defensive End
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Felix Anudike-Uzomah (b. Jan. 24, 2002) is a defensive star who enters the 2022 season ranked second nationally in career forced fumbles per game (0.33) and third in career sacks per game (0.67). This could well be his last season in college if he keeps it up at this rate.
Anudike-Uzomah was one of nine true freshmen to see playing time for Kansas State in 2020. I think it’s pretty clear now in hindsight why he didn’t redshirt.
He played in five games, had three tackles and a sack during the pandemic year, and tallied a season-high two tackles at TCU, while he carded his first career sack against Kansas.
None of this portended the breakout season “King Felix” would experience in 2021, though.
One of the top defensive players in the nation, he earned third-team All-American honors from Phil Steele and was a first-team All-Big 12 performer by both the league’s coaches and Associated Press, also earning coaches’ votes for the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and being honored as one of their two selections for Big 12 co-Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Anudike-Uzomah tied for the national lead in forced fumbles per game (0.46), while he ranked 11th nationally and second in the Big 12 in sacks per game (0.85). He finished ranked second in the nation among sophomores in sacks to Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr., while his 36 total stops were by far the most by any Big 12 Conference edge rusher last season.
Anudike-Uzomah’s 11 total sacks (should have been a record-breaking 13!) tied for fifth in school history overall and tied for second by a sophomore, while his six total forced fumbles tied the school record. He finished fourth on the team with 52 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss to rank second, as a whopping 27.9% of his total stops resulted in a loss.
Anudike-Uzomah also tied (and should have broken) a school record with four sacks against TCU, a mark that was originally set by Chris Johnson at Missouri in 2000, after he illogically had two more sacks taken away due to fumbles that were recovered on K-State’s side of the original line of scrimmage. If he had finished with six, it would have tied the FBS record.
In that same electric performance, Anudike-Uzomah also had sacks on three straight defensive snaps against TCU, the final two plays of the first half and the first defensive play of the second half, and posted a career-high eight total tackles against the Horned Frogs, bettering his previous career high of seven set earlier in the season at Oklahoma State.
For his efforts, he was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik Award Player of the Week, Bronko Nagurski Trophy Player of the Week and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following his outing against the Horned Frogs.
As if that wasn’t enough, Anudike-Uzomah additionally tallied two forced fumbles against the Horned Frogs, a feat he also accomplished against Southern Illinois. He also earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors following his game against SIU after he had three sacks and became the first player in school history to have three-sack games twice in one season.
One of only three players in the nation to have two forced fumbles in two different games during the year, Anudike-Uzomah also tallied a safety at Texas Tech by tackling a running back in the end zone. It was the Wildcats’ first safety via a tackle in the end zone since 2005 (Steven Cline vs. Missouri) and it came with K-State trailing, 24-10, giving the Wildcats life in a game they came back to win, 25-24, and vaulting them to their four-game winning streak.
Needless to say, Anudike-Uzomah enters 2022 with slightly higher expectations than before.
Under head coach Eric Thomas, he carded 184 tackles, 55 tackles for loss and 13 sacks throughout his three-year prep career for Lee’s Summit High School North in Missouri.
Anudike-Uzomah had 77 tackles as a junior, 20 of which went for a loss; also had 20 tackles for loss as a sophomore; and recorded five sacks as both a junior and senior for the Tigers.
He picked up first-team all-state honors a senior from the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) and the Missouri state media, while he was a second-team pick by the MFCA as a junior and earned all-district honors in his final three seasons from the MFCA.
Anudike-Uzomah previously committed to and then subsequently decommitted from North Dakota State. He also had offers from Northern Iowa, South Dakota and Tulsa, as well as interest from Nebraska. His unique scholarship status was explained by GoPowercat.com:
Anudike is considered a blue shirt for K-State’s 2020 class, which is why he does not appear in the official press release by the university. As a blue shirt, Anudike’s scholarship won’t kick in until the start of his first freshman practice and thus he does not actually count towards the commitment total of the 2020 group.