LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (KSNT) – With the 31st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Felix Anudike-Uzomah, defensive end, Kansas State.

“I got drafted by literally my favorite team growing up,” Anudike-Uzomah said.

The pick, made by Chiefs’ president Clark Hunt, was the end of a college chapter for reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Felix Anudike-Uzomah. It was also the start of another story.

Anudike-Uzomah is a Lee’s Summit, Missouri, native, just 22 miles away from Kansas City, where he grew up rooting for the Chiefs.

“Number one, love,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “I remember going to my first Chiefs game when I was seven years old. Just fell in love with this. Back in Matt Cassel days. Back when we were like…1-12, beat the Packers…we were all excited because we beat the Packers at the time. It’s a dream come true. I remember me and my friends went up to training camp, just to see Kelce and the Chiefs all play. It’s coming all circle, which is crazy, that I’m in this position, as a Kansas City Chief.”

Despite being just down the road from the draft, Anudike-Uzomah chose to spend draft night at home with family.

“A lot of people, a lot of emotions, they were more excited than me,” Anudike-Uzomah said.

The pick from the hometown team was a pleasant surprise to some, but it wasn’t a pick that came out of nowhere.

“I saw Frank Clark left…I can definitely make an impact on this team,” Anudike-Uzomah said.

Felix says Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was a fan of the Wildcat star.

“He liked how I had a great motor because he likes high motor guys. And he likes everything about like, my playing style,” Anudike-Uzomah said.

The first-round selection was also a pleasant surprise – also a selection Anudike-Uzomah didn’t feel like was impossible.

“In my heart I feel like first round possibility. I had other people saying you’re a second rounder, you’re a second-rounder. People on media saying you’re a second-rounder,” Anudike-Uzomah said.

Despite the option of returning to Manhattan, Anudike-Uzomah says after the last two seasons at K-State, he knew he was bound for the league.

“First of all, I had a great season in 2021, and I told myself that if I had a good season this season, I’m going to come out,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “Plus, the scheme for Kansas State is not the scheme that’s ideal for the NFL. And I’m not the type of person to transfer.”

Anudike-Uzomah didn’t make the decision alone – getting words of advice from his family and from the family of another Wildcat.

“I also had a connection with Chris Vaughn, Deuce [Vaughn]’s dad, he’s a Cowboys scout. So he was just saying all this stuff about like, if I’m worthy to come out…come out this year or if I would be drafted or anything like that,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “So I made the decision, ask my family. They told me to come out. So I just trusted them and I trusted my heart I trusted God.”

Anudike-Uzomah said that being alone during the height of COVID-19 helped him grow physically and mentally.

“Listen, I’m going to work my butt off in quarantine,” Anudike-Uzomah said. “Whole quarantine, I don’t play any video games, really watching any shows. Only thing I did was just watch [top player] highlights over and over and every day and then workout in my basement and eating a lot. So I could work on my body and just get anything tactics and stuff like that.”