Kene Nwangwu (pronounced kuh-NAY new-WAHN-goo) was not a bell-cow back for the Cyclones during his college career, but his abilities as a reserve RB and kick returner have not eluded the eyes of NFL scouts. He was rated as a three-star recruit after rushing for 1,439 yards and winning a Texas Class 5A state title in the high jump at Frisco's Heritage High School. Nwangwu earned Freshman All-American and honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as kick returner in 2016, racking up 896 yards and a score on 34 attempts (26.4 per). He also contributed on offense in 12 appearances that season (27-133-4.9 rushing, 1-16-16.0 receiving), as he did as a sophomore (39-157-4.0 rushing; 2-11-5.5 receiving, one start in 13 games) while also excelling again as a kick returner (24-643-26.8) to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors. Between those two seasons, Nwangwu redshirted the 2017 campaign with a torn Achilles tendon. He again started once in 13 appearances in 2019, though his production was reduced (16-115-7.2 rushing; 1-8-8.0 receiving; 15-381-25.4 kick returns). League coaches noticed his work as a kick returner in 2020 (19-550-29.0), naming him honorable mention All-Big 12. Once again, Nwangwu got one start on the year, but set career highs as a rusher (61-339-5.6, four TDs) and receiver (3-22-7.3) in 12 appearances. -- by Chad Reuter
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