There has been significant speculation over the past couple of months about a particular USC coaching position.
While no formal announcement is expected, USC’s defensive line coach for the 2018 season will be Keneche Udeze — the former USC All-American defensive lineman and a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings (20th overall) in 2004. This is an important retainer move on Clay Helton’s part as Udeze had interviewed twice with the San Francisco 49ers and was rumored to be taking that position.
In February 2008, it was announced that Udeze was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. He announced his decision to retire from the NFL on July 29, 2009, before re-enrolling at USC. Udeze graduated in 2010 with a USC sociology degree.
Steve Sarkisian, then the head coach of the Washington Huskies, gave Udeze his start in the coaching business and hired him as assistant strength and conditioning coach. Following stints with the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Panthers, Udeze eventually made his way back to USC in 2015 as asst S/C coach. In 2016, Udeze was named as the Trojan DL coach.
Udeze is viewed as one of USC’s better assistants and along with Tee Martin (offensive coordinator, wide receivers) and Johnny Nansen (asst head coach, linebackers), and is also valued as one of USC’s better recruiters. This is an important sign of the stability preferred by Lynn Swann within the USC staff and a welcome outcome for USC fans.