James Nyamwaya's Long Journey To The Steelers
The football story of Pittsburgh Steelers rookie James Nyamwaya began in Kenya.
After moving to the United States at the age of nine, the game of football was unknown to Nyamwaya; his passions lied in basketball and soccer, which he played for much of his youth.
During his years at Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts, Nyamwaya's introduction to football came courtesy of his teammate and current Houston Texans quarterback E.J. Perry. After much convincing, Nyamwaya decided to give football a try in his freshman year. After four years with the Huskies, he moved to Maine in his postgraduate year to play at Bridgton Academy, where he blossomed into a standout defensive lineman.
Nyamwaya received minimal interest from Division I schools and would eventually sign with Division III Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. In his three years with the Colonials, he would play 26 games, register 136 tackles, 3.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, and a forced fumble as an interior defensive lineman.
Following the 2021 season, Nyamwaya aimed to play Division I football for his final year of eligibility. That that opportunity would be presented close to his hometown at Merrimack College. Closer to home and with the opportunity to prove that he could play at that level, Nyamwaya rose to the occasion and became one of the top defensive players in the Northeast-10 Conference last season. He would earn second-team All-NEC honors with 20 solo stops, five and a half sacks, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
With NFL potential, Nyamwaya would increase his draft stock with an impressive Pro Day performance, one that included running 5.04 in the 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical jump. Even though his name was not called on draft day, the Steelers saw enough potential in him to sign him as an undrafted free agent. Considering the long journey he took to get to this point, things can only get better for him going forward.