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Chasing his dream
Nzegwu records two sacks in Panthers preseason opener
Carolina Panthers Louis Nzegwu (50) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Blanchard (4) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday. - photo by Photo by Mike McCarn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Louis Nzegwu’s NFL journey continued Friday night as the Platteville native played the best game of his brief professional career.

Nzegwu, a 2006 graduate of Platteville High School and former standout at the University of Wisconsin, recorded two sacks and forced a pair of holding penalties from his defensive end position in the Carolina Panthers’ 24–17 victory over the visiting Chicago Bears Friday night.

“Camp is going great,” Nzegwu said via text Monday afternoon. “I really feel comfortable in the defense I’m in right now. I feel like I’m in a better situation than I was last year.”

Nzegwu began his professional career as an undrafted free agent last year with the Atlanta Falcons, but was asked to play outside linebacker after playing defensive end at Wisconsin. He was waived by Atlanta on Aug. 27. He was then signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad, but was waived a week later.

Nzegwu, who wears number 50,  was signed to the Panthers’ 90-man offseason roster on May 13. He was one of 36 tryout players invited to Carolina’s rookie mini-camp in late April.

Nzegwu earned an invitation to training camp with an impressive mini-camp showing in the spring.

He is currently listed as the fourth right defensive end on the Panthers’ depth chart and the seventh overall DE on the roster.

“Competition is very hard,” said Nzegwu. “I’m actually unaware of where I’m at (in the depth chart). Our position coach gives all of us equal opportunities throughout practice on a daily basis.

“I haven’t been talked to about what it would take to make the team, but its most evident that they would start with position needs then on down.

Nzegwu and the Panthers will next travel to Philadelphia Thursday for a preseason game against the Eagles. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.