Kenechi Udeze, who served on staff for LSU’s 2019 national championship run, joined Vanderbilt as its linebackers coach in 2020.
Udeze assisted Tiger defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as an analyst during LSU’s 15-0 campaign capped by an impressive 42-25 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff title game.
The LSU defense was one of the nation’s most opportunistic units, ranking fifth nationally with 17 interceptions and 15th in turnover margin. The Tigers were superb in scoring defense (21.9 points/game) and total defense (343.5 yards/game).
Udeze joined the LSU staff after having played for Tiger head coach Ed Orgeron at USC, where he was a consensus All-America defensive end in 2003.
Prior to joining LSU, Udeze served on the defensive staff at his alma mater from 2016-18 after serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2015.
In 2016, the defensive front helped USC limit opponents to 139.6 rushing yards/game. One of Udeze’s top products, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, earned Rose Bowl Defensive MVP honors and become a seventh-round NFL Draft choice. In 2017, the Trojans led the nation with 46 sacks.
Udeze helped bring in arguably the nation’s best defensive line class with five-star defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, five-star Jay Tufele, Caleb Tremblay and three-star gems Brandon Pili and Lichtenstein. He was also involved with the recruitments of All-Americans Siaki Ika and Ty Robinson, two of USC’s major 2019 defensive line targets.
Udeze was a three-year starter from 2001-03 at defensive end for USC, racking up 135 tackles, 51 tackles for loss, 28 sacks, an NCAA record-tying 14 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career.
As a senior in 2003, Udeze earned consensus first-team All-America status during USC’s national championship run, leading the nation with 16.5 sacks and ranking fourth with 26 tackles for loss. He was a first-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, taken 20th overall by the Minnesota Vikings. He was a four-year starter at defensive end for the Vikings.
He was a multi-sport standout at Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles.