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Iyiegbuniwe highlighted in 'Meet the Rookies' series


The second of's four-part series "Meet the Rookies" features fourth-round draft pick Joel Iyiegbuniwe, an inside linebacker from Western Kentucky.

Iyiegbuniwe was a two-year starter in college. Last season he was named first-team All-Conference USA after leading the Hilltoppers with 117 tackles and 11.5 tackles-for-loss while also recording two sacks and three forced fumbles.

"He does flip the switch," said Western Kentucky coach Mike Sanford Jr. "He's a guy that is a gentleman off the field and a trained killer on the field, and that's a good thing.

"Off the field, he's a guy that you'd want your kids around.  I have three children and I want them to watch 'Iggy' and follow 'Iggy' in the way he lives his life, in the way he talks to authority, the way he treats his family, loves his family, loves his teammates. But then you step on the field and you get him between the white lines and he is a maniacal football player."

Iyiegbuniwe possesses an excellent combination of size and speed.

"Running that fast and being that big, it's kind of unusual to do that," said Terry Obee, a sport management instructor at Western Kentucky who played receiver for the Bears in 1993-94. "You don't have kids running 4.5, 4.6 at 230, 240 pounds. That's kind of rare. When I saw him play and he'd make those plays in a game, I said this guy is going to play on Sundays."

The "Meet the Rookies" series kicked off Monday featuring inside linebacker Roquan Smith and will continue with pieces on receiver Anthony Miller Wednesday and offensive lineman James Daniels Thursday. The series, brought to you by PNC, tells the story of each player's journey to the NFL in their own words.

The episodes will be released on, the free Chicago Bears Official App brought to you by Verizon and Bears social media channels, including Facebook Watch.

This marks the fourth year of the Bears "Meet the Rookies" series.

The series will culminate with a 30-minute special hosted by Bears radio play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak featuring all four episodes on WFLD FOX 32 on Saturday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m.