Mr. Nwachukwu goes to Washington (as in D.C.)

A PRO FOOTBALL career does not await Chima Nwachukwu, but the future has never looked brighter for the Washington State defensive back who wrapped up his four years in uniform last month in the Apple Cup.

Chima Nwachukwu, a second-team Academic All-American the past two seasons, has landed an internship with U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Nwachukwu will work in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 18-April 30. "I hope I can actually meet the president and get a photo with him," Nwachukwu said by phone Friday from his home in Allen, Texas, outside Dallas. "I'm going to be around a lot of those big shots."

Nwachukwu (WATCH-uh-koo) envisions himself as a federal prosecutor, but has not ruled out a career in politics. He originally planned to take a year off from classes before entering law school (preferably at Stanford), but Nwachukwu said he now hopes to teach at a lower-income school for two years in the Teach For America program before starting law school.

"I've always been interested in the arena of politics," Nwachukwu said.

Mind you, Nwachukwu is so intelligent and mature -- he's been a consistent 4.0 student at Washington State -- that Cougars defensive coordinator Chris Ball once said "you wouldn't be surprised" if Nwachukwu became president of the United States.

"He's just that type of kid," Ball said.

For now, Nwachukwu will gladly settle for the internship with Sen. Schumer. "I've admired him," Nwachuwku said. "I've always watched him on television. He's very intelligent."

He's also very powerful. Schumer is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, has a coveted seat on the Finance Committee, and holds the No. 3 leadership position among Senate Democrats.

Nwachukwu said he also was offered internships with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.).

"I'm really excited just to get the opportunity and get exposed to people out there," Nwachukwu said. "You never know what could happen."

Nwachukwu said he plans to take economics and constitutional law classes at Georgetown University in Washington before returning to Pullman in May, when he will graduate with a degree in political science.

Nwachukwu planned to attend the Cotton Bowl on Friday night in Dallas to cheer on younger brother Uzoma, a wide receiver at Texas A&M.

NWACHUKWU ISN'T THE ONLY Cougar senior who is making tracks these days. Center Zack Williams, who recently received the Mike Utley Award as WSU's top offensive lineman, will be playing in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22 in Orlando. Williams started each of WSU's 12 games in 2010 and earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors.

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