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Cyrus Berenice Kouandjio (/ˈkwɑːn/ KWAHN-joh) (born July 21, 1993) is an American football offensive tackle who plays for the New York Guardians of the XFL. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Alabama.[1]

Cyrus Kouandjio
refer to caption
Kouandjio with the Broncos in 2017.
New York Guardians
Position:Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1993-07-21) July 21, 1993 (age 26)
Height:6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight:322 lb (146 kg)
Career information
High school:DeMatha Catholic
(Hyattsville, Maryland)
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2018
Games played:30
Games started:8
Player stats at

High school careerEdit

Kouandjio initially attended High Point High School in Beltsville, Maryland, where he played football for the Eagles program. After his freshman year he was recruited and transferred to DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland with his older brother Arie, where he played football for the Stags program. [2] He competed in the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game.[3] Kouandjio, a five-star and consensus top offensive line prospect in the nation by, ESPN,, and SuperPrep, received offers from over sixty schools, including: Alabama, Auburn, New Mexico, USC, and Iowa.[4] He was the fourth-ranked prospect in the recruiting class of 2011.[5]

On National Signing Day, Kouandjio announced on ESPNU that he would attend Auburn University.[6] Later that day, it was reported that he had second thoughts about his choice and was still undecided.[7] Three days later, on February 5, 2011, Kouandjio's brother Arie announced on his Twitter account that Cyrus would attend the University of Alabama.[8][9]

College careerEdit

In 2011, Kouandjio contributed as a true freshman, playing in eight games until a knee injury in the second half against Tennessee ended his season.[10]

As a sophomore in 2012, Kouandjio started all 14 games at the left tackle position. He had the least number of career starts on the Alabama offensive line in the 2012 season. In the 2013 BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, Alabama repeatedly ran to the left behind Kouandjio, contributing to 265 net yards rushing and 5.9 yards per rush. On Alabama's third drive, Kouandjio pancake blocked Notre Dame defensive end Sheldon Day.[11][12] Kouandjio ended the 2012 season ranked as the top offensive tackle from the 2011 recruiting class.[13]

As a junior in 2013, Kouandjio was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.[14] After the season, he decided to forego his senior season and entered the 2014 NFL Draft.[15]

Professional careerEdit

As early as April 2013, Kouandjio was projected as one of the top selections in the 2014 NFL Draft.[16]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 6 34 in
(2.00 m)
322 lb
(146 kg)
35 58 in
(0.90 m)
10 14 in
(0.26 m)
5.59 s 1.93 s 3.19 s 4.84 s 7.71 s 27 12 in
(0.70 m)
8 ft 0 in
(2.44 m)
21 reps
All values from NFL Combine[17]

Buffalo BillsEdit

Kouanjio was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.[18] He became the fifth Alabama offensive lineman selected in the first two rounds in six years, after Andre Smith, James Carpenter, Chance Warmack, and D. J. Fluker.

Kouandjio suffered an ankle injury near the start of the 2016 season, causing him to miss multiple weeks.[19] He went on to play 12 games with five starts in 2016.

On January 26, 2017, Kouandijo suffered a hip injury after falling in his home and underwent surgery. He was expected to recover in time for training camp.[20] On May 24, 2017, Kouandijo was released by the Bills.[21]

Detroit LionsEdit

On June 15, 2017, Kouandijo signed with the Detroit Lions.[22] He was released on August 29, 2017.[23]

Denver BroncosEdit

On November 8, 2017 Kouandjio was signed by the Denver Broncos.[24] He played in three games, starting one at right tackle in 2017.

On September 1, 2018, Kouandjio was released by the Broncos.[25] He was re-signed on November 20, 2018.[26] He was released again on December 4, 2018.[27]

Dallas RenegadesEdit

Kouandjio was drafted in the 2nd round in phase two in the 2020 XFL Draft by the New York Guardians. [28]

Personal lifeEdit

Kouandjio's older brother, Arie, played at Alabama and plays offensive guard for the Washington Redskins.[29] Cyrus is married to his college girlfriend, Elizabeth Van Zandt who was also an athlete at the University of Alabama.[30] On April 20, 2017, Kouandjio was found undressed by deputies and firefighters in Elma, New York. Kouandjio required medical attention in an undisclosed condition, and was granted first-aid. Kouandjio formally turned himself in, avoiding his arrest.[31][32]


  1. ^ Halley, Jim (October 25, 2010). "Colleges clamor for Cameroon-born lineman Kouandjio". USA Today.
  2. ^ "Aiming For Greatness". 360 Fit Performance. September 12, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Tucker: Five-star OT Kouandjio added to UA roster". October 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "Cyrus Kouandjio - Football Recruiting - Player Profiles - ESPN".
  5. ^ "".
  6. ^ Cyrus Kouandjio announces for Auburn Archived February 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Cyrus' Circus".
  8. ^ Kouandjio, Arie. "After much consideration, my brother has decided to take his talent to the University of Alabama Looks like my lil bro is going to roll ..."
  9. ^ "Cyrus Bama Bound".
  10. ^ Gould, Izzy (October 24, 2011). "Cyrus Kouandjio to undergo season-ending surgery".
  11. ^ JPDraftJedi (January 31, 2013). "Alabama Oline vs Notre Dame 2013" – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Mays, Robert (January 8, 2013). "Chance Warmack, Cyrus Kouandjio, and the Latest Brand of Crimson Tide Dominance".
  13. ^ "The Sports Xchange College Football/NFL Draft Scout Rankings, From Prep to Pro Coverage by the Sports Xchange".
  14. ^ "2013 All-SEC Football Team Announced". SEC Digital Network. December 10, 2013.
  15. ^ "Dix, Kouandjio among 4 from Bama to NFL".
  16. ^ Jones, Lindsay H. (April 27, 2013). "Never too early: 2014 NFL draft's top prospects". USA Today.
  17. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Cyrus Kouandjio".
  18. ^ "2014 NFL Draft: Bills get B- for taking Cyrus Kouandjio at No. 44".
  19. ^ "Cyrus Kouandjio explains why he can't protest during the national anthem". Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  20. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 26, 2017). "Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has surgery after hip injury".
  21. ^ Brown, Chris (May 24, 2017). "Bills sign TE Saxton, WR Streater; Kouandjio released".
  22. ^ "Lions acquire T Greg Robinson via trade and sign free agent T Cyrus Kouandjio". June 15, 2017.
  23. ^ Alper, Josh (August 29, 2017). "Lions waive Cyrus Kouandjio".
  24. ^ Mason, Andrew (November 8, 2017). "Broncos place Menelik Watson on injured reserve, sign T Cyrus Kouandjio".
  25. ^ DiLalla, Aric (September 1, 2018). "Broncos trim roster to 53 players".
  26. ^ DiLalla, Aric (November 20, 2018). "Broncos place Max Garcia on IR, sign Cyrus Kouandjio".
  27. ^ DiLalla, Aric (December 4, 2018). "Broncos sign veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor, waive T Cyrus Kouandjio".
  28. ^ "OFFENSIVE LINEMEN DRAFT TRACKER". October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  29. ^ "Alabama Crimson Tide linemen Cyrus and Arie Kouandjio just 'regular kids'". April 14, 2013.
  30. ^ "Cyrus Kouandjio (@ckouandjio) - Twitter".
  31. ^ "Bills' Kouandjio in hospital after bizarre incident". Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  32. ^ Knoblauch, Austin. "Cyrus Kouandjio found by deputies in field, gets first aid". NFL. Retrieved April 20, 2017.

External linksEdit