Spencer Thomas | Staff Writer
Sept. 9, 2021
For the first time in 10 years, a former Duquesne football player will be on the sidelines for a regular-season National Football League game.
Christian Kuntz, a graduate of Duquesne University, was recently named to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 53-man roster, earning the job as the team’s starting long snapper. He is the first Duke to earn an NFL roster spot since Leigh Bodden suited up for the New England Patriots in 2011.
In his career at Duquesne – which spanned from 2012 to 2016 – the graduate of nearby Chartiers Valley High School racked up an abundance of accolades.
Competing at the linebacker position, Kuntz was honored as part of the First Team All-Northeast Conference on three separate occasions (as a sophomore in 2013, as a junior in 2015 and as a senior in 2016). A left knee injury forced him to redshirt and miss all of the 2014 campaign.
In both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Kuntz was selected as the NEC’s Defensive Player of the Year. His performance in both seasons also led him to be selected as part of the STATS FCS First Team All-America at the conclusion of each season.
He holds the NEC record for total sacks in a career with 30.5. His career mark of tackles for loss (71.5) is not only a Duquesne record, but is good enough for sixth all-time across the entire FCS level.
In the time since his departure from Duquesne, Kuntz bounced around in short preseason stints with the Patriots, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars and Steelers. However, Kuntz had never been able to crack a team’s final roster until this season.
After being waived by the Patriots – his first stop after college – Kuntz began focusing on a conversion from linebacker to long snapper.
Despite a four-year gap between his final college season and what will be his NFL debut, Kuntz still got a taste of competitive football. In 2020, he played for the Dallas Renegades during the short-lived reincarnation of the XFL (Xtreme Football League).
In addition to the preseason opportunities Kuntz had, he also had tryouts with the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts prior to the 2020 season. However, both tryouts proved to be unsuccessful.
After having been previously waived twice by the Steelers, he was signed to the team’s practice squad on Nov. 24, 2020. He was released on Dec. 23, only to be re-signed on Dec. 29. Kuntz was let go yet again on Jan. 6, but was ultimately signed to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 14.
Kuntz is expected to make his NFL debut this Sunday, Sept. 12, when Pittsburgh opens its season at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y., against the Buffalo Bills.