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Steelers Waive Rookie Defensive Tackle



Steelers James Jay Nyamwaya

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to release rookie defensive tackle Jay Nyamwaya, the team announced on Saturday.

A 6-foot-5, 305-pound undrafted rookie from Merrimack College, Nyamwaya spent the preseason as a rotational third-team option on what is a very deep Steelers defensive line.

He played in all three preseason games, but sparingly in each, with 10 snaps in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the most playing time he received. PFF gave Nyamwaya a 30.5 grade this preseason. He recorded one tackle, tracking down Atlanta Falcons quarterback Logan Woodside from behind in the preseason finale against on Thursday night. 

A native of Kenya, Nyamwaya came to the United States when he was nine years old, but did not take up football until his freshman year at Andover (Mass.) High School. He got his collegiate start at Division III Curry College.

Nyamwaya started his collegiate career at Curry College, a Division III school, before transferring to Merrimack for his final season. In 2018, Nyamwaya appeared in seven games for the Colonials and posted 15 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and a fumble recovery.

As a sophomore in 2019, Nyamwaya appeared in all 10 games for Curry College and his production exploded. He finished the season with 60 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He finished second on the team with his four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

The entirety of Division III decided to cancel their football seasons in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In 2021, Nyamwaya stayed consistent and totaled 61 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble in nine games. Following the season, the league’s coaches named Nyamwaya first-team All-CCC.

In his Curry career, Nyamwaya appeared in 26 games and totaled 136 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

Prior to the 2022 season, Nyamwaya decided to transfer to Merrimack College, two levels higher than Division III,  for his final collegiate season. At Merrimack, Nyamwaya appeared in 10 games for the Warriors and had a breakout season. He posted 27 combined tackles, one forced fumble, and career highs in tackles for loss and sacks. He finished the 2022 season with 6.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

In total between Curry and Merrimack, Nyamwaya appeared in 36 collegiate games while recording 163 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles.

The Steelers must cut down from their 90-player offseason roster to the NFL-mandated 53-man limit by 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The club has practice scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so they likely will wait until Tuesday to make the final cuts. 

Players released earlier will include individuals the Steelers likely do not consider to be options for the practice squad, or veterans that they hope to allow to catch on with another team.

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