Two Duquesne Dukes signed undrafted free agent contracts following the 2022 NFL Draft — wide receiver Cyrus Holder with the Chicago Bears and offensive tackle Jake Dixon with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dixon will look to join Christian Kuntz, a three-time All-American linebacker for the Dukes (2012-16), on an active NFL roster. Kuntz made his NFL debut as a free agent long snapper for the Steelers in 2021.
Dixon (6-foot-6, 290-pounds) played football at Bethel Park High School, but first committed to play Division-I volleyball at Lewis University. In 2017, Lewis transferred to Duquesne and was a tight end for his first two seasons before making the switch to offensive tackle. He started all five games last spring, earning AFCA FCS All-America and All-NEC honors at tackle. This past fall, he started all 10 games, as well.
Holder, who stands at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, earned All-Northeast Conference honors in each of his two seasons at Duquesne following his transfer from Saint Francis University. Holder finished his collegiate career with 122 receptions for 2,270 yards and 22 touchdowns in 40 career games (25 at Saint Francis U and 15 at Duquesne). His 18.6 career yards per catch average ranked 11th on all NCAA levels and sixth among FCS-only schools. Holder recorded 60 receptions for 1,120 yards and 13 touchdowns in two seasons at Duquesne (15 games).
In program history, the Dukes have had 45 players in the NFL, with a total of 35 suiting up for the Steelers between 1937 and 1951. Leigh Bodden, who played for the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots, was the first Duquesne player to take the field for an NFL game since Al Demao played for Washington from 1945-53. Bodden, who last played for the Patriots in 2011, had a nine-year NFL career as a cornerback.