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Mathias Kiwanuka: Pursue or No? Part 1: Introduction

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There are not many players in the NFL with a more interesting family tree than Mathias Kiwanuka. His grandfather, Benedicto Kiwanuka, was the Prime Minister of Uganda who was murdered by the forces of Idi Amin, a ruthless leader who led a military coup of the nation. Kiwanuka's parents fled to American amid the nation's strife. Their son, Mathias, was an excellent athlete and won a football scholarship to Boston College. The Eagles uncovered him while targeting his high school teammate, Jeremy Trueblood, now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mathias hung a Ugandan flag in his dorm room while at BC to celebrate his heritage and honor his grandfather.

Kiwanuka was selected by the Giants with the last pick in the first round in the 2006 NFL Draft. The Giants acquired the pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh had traded up to select Santonio Holmes. While he played defensive end in college, Kiwanuka won a job as starting outside linebacker for the Giants in 2007. He started 10 games but missed the last month of the regular season as well as New York's postseason run to the title after breaking his leg. The next year, Michael Strahan's retirement and a season ending injury to Osi Umenyiora forced the Giants to move him back to defensive end, where he started all 16 games and registered 8 sacks as the Giants had the best record in the NFC. A relatively quiet 2009 saw Kiwanuka in a substitute role early in the year before starting the last 5 games at defensive end. He appeared on his way to a monster 2010 campaign with 4 sacks in the first 3 games but missed the final 13 games with a herniated disk in his neck.

The 27 year old is now set to be a free agent.