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76 DAYS TO 2022 KICKOFF: Kingsley Ugwu

In which BracketCat counts down the 76th day until the 2022 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State offensive lineman Kingsley Ugwu.

#76 Josh Rivas
Josh Rivas (76) chose to graduate and not exercise his additional year of eligibility, but unfortunately was not drafted by the NFL. This left his number available for former JUCO Kingsley Ugwu to claim.
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

#76 Kingsley Ugwu

Redshirt Junior | 6-4 | 299 lbs. | Tucson, Arizona
Kingsley Ugwu
Kingsley Ugwu
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Previous College: Hutchinson Community College
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Kingsley “KO” Ugwu (Aug. 2, 2001) is a JUCO transfer from Hutchinson Community College who redshirted in 2021 after enrolling in summer and will provide depth at offensive tackle.

Ugwu, who originally hails from Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona, and plans to major in architecture, was a two-year starter for the Blue Dragons. He started every game during the spring 2021 season for Hutchinson under head coach Drew Dallas.

Ugwu earned first-team NJCAA All-American honors after he helped the Blue Dragons to earn a perfect 8-0 record and a victory in the NJCAA National Championship.

As part of one of the best offensive lines in Hutchinson program history, Ugwu helped the Blue Dragons to post scores like 77-7 in 2021, as well as rank second in the NJCAA in scoring offense (45.4 points per game), fourth in total offense (472.8 yards per game) and second in rushing offense (273.5 yards per game).

This culminated in his being named to the NJCAA All-American first team, marking K-State’s first such addition since Iowa Western teammates Jake Waters and Devon Nash in 2012.

“His best days are ahead of him and looking forward to watching him continue to grow as a player and leader,” Ugwu’s community college coach told last summer:

“Kingsley is an athletic, physical, and long offensive tackle that is solid in all phases of the game,” head coach Drew Dallas tells GPC of the 6-foot-4, 311-pounder who will have four years to play three in Manhattan. “He has a nasty streak on the field, but is exactly what you want in a teammate and player from a culture standpoint.”

Ugwu chose K-State over offers from Baylor, Colorado, East Carolina, Liberty, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas Tech, UNLV and Utah State. He played at Hutchinson with former K-State teammates Kirmari Gainous, who graduated, and Justin Gardner, who transferred again.

His father, Chima, played defensive tackle at Arizona, while he also competed in the 1996 Olympics for his native Nigeria in the shot put.

Kingsley also is related to former NFL All-Pro running back Christian Okoye.