WATCH: Kene Nwangwu returns KO for first NFL touchdown

Jan 2, 2021; Glendale, AZ, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Kene Nwangwu (3) against the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It did not take Kene Nwangwu long to make his mark on the NFL.

The greatest kick returner in the history of Iowa State football found professional paydirt for the first time on Sunday when he returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the Minnesota Vikings’ game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Nwangwu spent the early portion of the season on the injured reserve then was activated by the Vikings a few weeks ago. This game has been his first major opportunity to see the field, make an impact for Minnesota and show off the blazing speed that made him lethal as a Cyclone.

While Nwangwu made a mark as a tailback at Iowa State, it was the kick return spot where he’ll be best remembered with several long returns in huge games that swung momentum the Cyclones’ way, including a long return in the Cyclones’ home win over Oklahoma in 2020.

Nwangwu finished his career at Iowa State’s all-time leader in kick return average at 26.8 yards per return. Here’s to hoping Kene can be finding the end zone for many years to come.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.