Derrek Tuszka

Outside Linebacker


Experience: R

Height: 6-4

Age: 22

Weight: 251 lbs

College: North Dakota State



Tuszka (pronounced TUSS-kuh) has been one of the reasons for the Bison's recent run of FCS titles (eight in nine seasons). He had a strong senior year, leading the team to its third straight title as a first-team Associated Press All-American and Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year (48 tackles, led team with 19 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, five pass breakups in 15 starts). His 2019 sack total ranked sixth in the FCS. In 2018, Tuszka was an honorable mention all-conference selection (48 tackles, 12 for loss, 7.5 sacks, starting seven of 15 games played). He started 12 of 15 games played as a sophomore, leading NDSU with 7.5 sacks among his 33 total tackles, 9.5 for loss. As a redshirt freshman in 2016, Tuszka made four tackles (1.5 for loss, one sack) in eight appearances as a reserve. Tuszka is a South Dakota native who earned all-state honors at Warner High School twice and starred on the basketball court and track. His brother, Jarrod, played for the Bison from 2013 to 2017.


Tuszka is a hard-nosed, physical 4-3 base end with a lack of length and bend but good strength and motor to make play after play. His lack of length and explosiveness weren't an issue in college but will likely be exploited by NFL starting tackles. His skilled hands and secondary effort are traits that will help his cause but Tuszka may need to prove he can handle a transition to 3-4 outside linebacker during individual workouts to expand the number of teams/schemes that might consider him.


  • Showed an ability to dominate his level of competition
  • Posted 29.5 sacks as three-year starter
  • Skilled with his hands as rusher
  • Uses well-timed bull-rush charge to catch off-balance tackles
  • Smooth punch to counter rip transition
  • Stiff inside hand to post and circle over top of tackle's pass set
  • Five batted passes in 2019 alone
  • Accelerates into the point of attack with some force
  • Motor is apparent in his pursuit of the football
  • Upper-body power to pop and tackle on base blockers