Nwangwu picked by Vikings in 4th round

Kene Nwangwu

CLEVELAND — Iowa State running back Kene Nwangwu is on his way to the NFL.

The All-American kickoff returner, who broke the school record for career kickoff return average (26.8), was selected in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings as the No. 119 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

At running back, Nwangwu tallied 339 rushing yards and four touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry in 2020.

“Kene was among a unique group of seniors who were really special,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said. “Kene has been through so much here at Iowa State. He had a great start to his career and then he tears his Achilles. It was a long tough road back for him and it wasn’t easy. To watch his leadership grow, see what he has done for our football program, and today, to see him get drafted, I am so thrilled for him.”

The Frisco, Texas native raised his stock dramatically after running a 4.31 in the 40-yard dash at Iowa State’s Pro Day. Nwangwu earned fourth-team All-America accolades as a kickoff returner in 2020, ranking seventh nationally in kickoff return average (28.9).

Nwangwu ended his career with 2,470 kickoff return yards, the most in Iowa State history and third all-time in Big 12 history.


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