Pittsburgh Maulers linebacker Kyahva Tezino is getting an NFL tryout after his standout season in the USFL. Tezino is working out for the New York Giants on Monday, according to a report by Aaron Wilson of KPRC-TV Houston.
The 6-foot, 235-pound San Diego State alum was a stalwart playing next to Reuben Foster in the middle of the Maulers’ 2023 defense. Tezino ranked second in tackles and tackles for loss that included 13 tackles in the Maulers appearance in the 2023 USFL Championship Game.
He first found his way onto NFL radars with a strong junior season with the Aztecs in 2018, when he recorded an absurd 127 tackles and 8.5 sacks. He followed that up with 99 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions in 2019, getting him an NFL shot with the New England Patriots.
The Steelers brought Tezino for a tryout way back in 2020, after he had been with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers in his rookie season. Since then, he spent one season in The Spring League and two with the Maulers. He posted 86 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2022 before adding 93 tackles in 2023. He also had two interceptions.
The Steelers have completely revamped their inside linebackers group from the 2022 season, bringing in starters Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts and veteran reservers Nick Kwaitkoski and Tanner Muse to go along with 2022 seventh-round pick Mark Robinson. Tezino could bring a coverage-first aspect to the position that it is currently lacking, especially among the team’s depth options, but it seems other teams might have more interest at the moment.
“Maybe my play in the USFL can be a stepping stone to get back to Pittsburgh,” Tezino said before his 2022 season with the Maulers. “They told me they knew who I was and I should go ‘be me.’ Hopefully this year I’ll put up some good film and get another opportunity to play in Pittsburgh.”
The Steelers signed three former XFL players after the end of that season’s spring session, but have yet to tap into the USFL for players. Former Steelers wide receiver Deon Cain is headed back to the NFL after earning MVP honors in the USFL Championship Game.