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Felix Anudike-Uzomah Embraces His Childhood Dreams at Chiefs Camp

Anudike-Uzomah, who grew up a Chiefs fan, took the field for the first time at camp on Wednesday

Felix Anudike-Uzomah was 10 years old when he watched the Kansas City Chiefs take the training camp practice fields at Missouri Western State University for the first time. He sat in the stands as the likes of quarterback Alex Smith, defensive end Tamba Hali and tight end Travis Kelce – who was a rookie that year – prepared for the Chiefs' first season under Head Coach Andy Reid, enjoying a pastime that so many travel hours to experience every single year.

He's now back on the campus of Missouri Western a decade later, but this time, the former Lee's Summit High School and Kansas State star is attending training camp as a member of his favorite team.

"I had to soak it all in at first because I remember sitting in the stands – I believe it was in 2013 – and just watching all the guys," Anudike-Uzomah said. "[For] me to actually be walking on this grass pad and to come down to camp, it's a dream come true, but at the same time, although I'm in this dream, I have to [earn] it."

Anudike-Uzomah is certainly worthy of the opportunity as the 21-year-old defensive end racked up 25.5 tackles-for-loss, 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 27 games over the last two years. He recorded at least eight sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss in each of the last two seasons while leading the FBS in forced fumbles in 2021, and his efforts this past season – which included 11 tackles-for-loss and 8.5 sacks – earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.

He was simply one of the top prospects in the nation, enticing the Chiefs to make the Kansas City native the final pick of the first round back in April. Anudike-Uzomah wasn't invited to the draft, but ironically enough, he attended the event – which took place in Kansas City – as a fan mere hours before his name was called on stage.

It was nothing short of an amazing moment, but while Anudike-Uzomah is well-aware of his story, he understands that the real work still lies ahead.

"I still have to have to impress the coaches. It's the same thing day-by-day, because if you don't impress the coaches, you're not going to get on the field," Anudike-Uzomah said. "Learning that playbook, learning my technique and doing everything possible to impress the coaches will hopefully get me on the field."

It's a mentality that Anudike-Uzomah embraced in the days that followed the draft courtesy of some advice from Chiefs' legend Dante Hall, who was announced as the franchise's latest Hall of Fame inductee prior to the draft's third day. The event – which acted as an abbreviated fan rally – brought Hall and Anudike-Uzomah together for what turned out to me a meaningful exchange.

"Basically, he kept it really simple. He said that you play football for a reason, so just go out and play," Anudike-Uzomah said. "There's no overthinking it, just go out there and play because at the end of the day, this is just a game. So, once you just play like you did in little league, you do everything right, you eat right and you work on your body, everything will just [fall into] place. That's basically the simplest thing that he said, and I'll take it forever."

News & Notes

- The Chiefs' quarterbacks, rookies and select veterans returning from injuries have now completed two "pre-camp" practices, which began on Wednesday. There will be one more "pre-camp" practice on Friday before the veterans arrive later in the afternoon. The first full, team practice will take place on Sunday.

- Safety Mike Edwards, who sustained a hamstring injury during Organized Team Activities (OTAs), participated in both Wednesday and Thursday's practice. He has impressed, too, as Edwards hauled in an interception off a tipped pass during 7-on-7 drills on Thursday. While this "pre-camp" period is designed for quarterbacks and rookies, some players recovering from injuries are also permitted to attend.

- Tailback Isiah Pacheco provided an update on his status following Thursday's practice. Pacheco, who underwent surgeries on both his shoulder and hand during the offseason, participated in Wednesday and Thursday's practices on a limited basis.

Here's what Pacheco had to say about his progress:

"I feel great right now. It's just a process that takes time," Pacheco said. "For me, I'm just continuing to listen to the staff and trusting myself."

- Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice was busy with several receptions on Thursday. It was a solid practice for the second-round pick, who also tallied a physical touchdown grab on Wednesday.

- Fellow rookie wide receiver Nikko Remigio tallied several receptions as part of a strong practice on Wednesday, which included perhaps the play of the morning when quarterback Patrick Mahomes found the undrafted free agent signee in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

- Rookie cornerback Nic Jones recorded a great defensive play on Wednesday with a pass-breakup on a slant.

The Chiefs will take the field for the final "pre-camp" practice on Friday before the veterans begin to arrive later in the afternoon. The first full, team practice will take place on Sunday.