Sept. 19, 2012
This article was originally published in the Sept. 8 edition of Kickoff, the official gameday magazine of Wake Forest football.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football officially during my seventh-grade year. I played Pop Warner for a little bit but I didn't really like it. I only did it because my cousin made me. I played running back, and my fondest memory is of playing running back while my cousin played quarterback in Pop Warner. We were always in the huddle and I would know I was getting the ball because he would just look at me. I didn't ever know the plays. He would just look at me and say you're getting the ball and let's run really fast. I was always afraid of getting hit.
Q: When did you first realize you could play at the major college level?
A: The first time I started playing in high school. My same cousin, he brought me out for freshman camp. We always ran routes in our backyard, but I was out there and going against the older DBs and going with the older receivers and I was competing with them so I knew I could possibly play at the next level.
Q: Were you always one of the better players on the field growing up?
A: Yes, I was blessed enough to be that way. I thank God for that.
Q: What area of your game do you need to improve on?
A: To be honest, I've never been content with anything. Complacency is something I never want to be accustomed to, so I've always worked on everything.
Q: What is the best memory of your high school career?
A: The best moment [of my high school career] was when we won state during my senior year. Going out strong--that was our plan going into the preseason, so we always said we were on a mission. And we finished up strong and won state.
Q: Has there been a coach or mentor who has had a great impact on your career?
Q: Describe the recruiting process during high school.
A: Without question, my high school coach Steven Davis. He just taught me to how to be a better man, a better individual, a better player, a better brother, teammate, all that. I give all the credit to Coach Davis.
A: To be honest, it was overwhelming. At times you would think too much about the recruiting and then people would tell you to focus on the game but it's really not easy at all to focus on the game when you're thinking this scout was here. I never liked the scouts coming to the game. I never liked when coach told me scouts were coming to a game.
Q: What do you plan to do after your football career is over?
A: I plan to go to (physical therapy) school. That's what I'm here for. I'm majoring in health and exercise science, so my plan is go to PT school.
Q: This season you changed your listed name from Kenny to Chibuikem, which is your given name. What was the reason for the change?
A: This summer, I just had a lot of time to myself to reevaluate myself and become a better individual and also better myself in my religion. That's something that I just kept my core values in. To have the name Chibuikem, my father gave it to me and he always asked me when I was younger "why don't you go by your name?". I was always like "it's not common; it's not normal". I hated it because teachers would always get it wrong and I would have to explain it to them. I never liked going through all of that. Nowadays, a lot of people know my name and I want that to be known and seen on the roster.