20 years ago, Ed Orgeron made a deal with a 375-pound player. Today he hired him

The round-faced teenager hopped on a Los Angeles bus alone, spent the $3.17 to get across town and found himself at a Nike camp he wasn’t even invited to.

Kenechi Udeze was a large — too large — defensive lineman who claims he stole an invitation to the camp. He was a force at Verbum Dei High School, but teams stopped recruiting him because of his weight.

He snuck his way into the camp anyway, and then-USC defensive line coach Ed Orgeron came walking over as Udeze arrived. He didn’t even address Udeze.


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