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• Winner of the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation's most outstanding player that began his career as a walk-on.
• Attended Kirk Cousins' football camp as a youngster.
• Named the 2018 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year after leading the conference with 20.5 TFL as a junior.
OFF THE FIELD
• The 5th of 8 children in the family. Younger brother Charles Jr. also played on the Michigan State football team; older brother Lourens is a national champion trampoline gymnast; sister Holliann is a lawyer, and sister Allison is a concert pianist. Father, Charles, is a heart surgeon.
• Graduated with his bachelor's degree in chemistry in December of 2020.
• Selected in the 7th round (No. 225 overall).
• Part of a Big Ten draft class that had the 2nd-most players selected in 2019 behind only the SEC.
1-on-1 With Kenny Willekes
vikings.com's Gabe Henderson talked with DE Kenny Willekes after he was taken in round seven of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Kenny Willekes College Highlights
View college highlights of new Vikings DE Kenny Willekes from his time at Michigan State.
Willekes: I'm No Stranger To Adversity or Hard Work
New Vikings DE Kenny Willekes addressed the media via video conference call on Saturday.
Vikings Select Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes In Round 7 of the 2020 NFL Draft
The Minnesota Vikings select Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes in Round 7 of the 2020 NFL Draft.