Former Pitt DE Hendrix signs with Steelers


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Former Pitt defensive end Dewayne Hendrix (8) accidentally bumps into a referee. Hendrix has signed with the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, announced Monday afternoon.

By Alex Lehmbeck, Senior Staff Writer

Former Pitt defensive end Dewayne Hendrix has signed with the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Hendrix, who recently played in the XFL for the St. Louis Battlehawks, joins two other XFL players signing one-year contracts with the Steelers. XFL safety Tyree Kinnel and linebacker/long snapper Christian Kuntz will make the move with him.

After playing his first year at the University of Tennessee, Hendrix transferred to Pitt in 2015. Because NCAA transfer rules forced him to sit out a year, he began his Pitt career the next season.

It didn’t start out well, though. After earning the starting job, Hendrix suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the season against Villanova.

He finally got an opportunity to play a large role during his redshirt junior season. Although Pitt disappointingly failed to make a bowl game, Hendrix saw his playing time and playmaking abilities shoot up. He finished 2017 with 21 tackles and 3.0 sacks, including a huge one in Pitt’s upset over No. 3 Miami to close the season.

As a redshirt senior, Hendrix made large impacts in some games, while disappearing in others. He gave the best performance of his career against Virginia, recording 2.5 sacks against the struggling Cavalier offensive line.

With no teams calling his name, Hendrix bounced around many NFL practice squads before finding his way to the XFL.

Though Hendrix could provide some quality depth to the Steelers’ defense, it is unlikely he will get much playing time in the near future. The Steelers boast a dominant defensive front, having led the NFL last year with 54 sacks.