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Steelers to Host Former XFL Player for Tryout



Antonio Ortiz Steelers

Former Chicago Bears and XFL long snapper Antonio Ortiz is coming to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a tryout, the official XFL account tweeted on Friday.

The Steelers do not currently have a long snapper on the roster to compete with long snapper Christian Kuntz. During just about every offseason, the team signs one long snapper to come in and compete with Kuntz or whoever the long snapper maybe that season. Ortiz could potentially be that guy this offseason to push Kuntz.

Ortiz played his college football at Texas Christian University (TCU). With the Horned Frogs, he was a Mannelly Award Semifinalist in 2021, which is the award for the nation’s best long snapper. He served as TCU’s long snapper from his freshman year in 2018 through his senior season in 2021. Ortiz was never and did not miss a game during that career.

After his graduation from TCU, he joined the Chicago Bears following the draft. However, he was waived in July after signing with them following a rookie minicamp tryout. Ortiz got a few other tryouts during the season, including one with the New England Patriots, but nothing fully materialized. As such, Ortiz ended up going to the XFL to play with XFL champions, the Arlington Renegades.

Now, Ortiz will have the chance to impress the Steelers and get into a training camp competition with Kuntz. The team still has one roster spot open after signing Cody Chrest and Markus Golden to the team. So, that does mean that the last spot could be potentially a long snapper.

The team re-signed Kuntz to a one-year deal after the 2022 season. A Pittsburgh-area native, Chartiers Valley and Duquesne alum, Kuntz played linebacker in high school and college but picked up long snapping after his amateur playing days ended in 2016. He earned a spot on the roster in 2021, beating out Kam Canaday. 

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