View Full Version : Snapshot: John Capizzi

06-22-2007, 03:02 PM
At 6-9, 315 pounds, Jason Capizzi looks big, even by NFL standards,
as he walks around the locker room of the Pittsburgh Steelers.


But these days, Capizzi hardly feels like a big man on campus. In
fact, he feels more like a kid in a candy store.

The 22-year-old graduate of Pine-Richland High School in suburban
Pittsburgh is lining up at left tackle with the Steelers after signing
with his hometown team as an undrafted rookie free agent.

“This is really a dream come true,” said Capizzi, a product of
Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “I’ve been a Steelers fan forever.
Just walking out onto that practice field with these guys for the first
time, I could hardly control myself. I was so nervous and excited.

“My father always had season tickets. He’s had them since 1970, and
I’ve been going to Steelers games my whole life, way back at Three
Rivers Stadium. So, to be here with these guys and hopefully prove that
I can help the team win is amazing. Like I’ve said, I’m fulfilling a
dream right now, and I don't want it to end.”

But don’t let Capizzi’s exuberance about his situation fool you. He
wasn’t brought in as a favor to somebody. The kid can actually play.

A three-year starter at IUP, Capizzi was an NCAA Division II
All-America player as a senior. And the only reason he started just
three seasons at IUP – which has produced NFL linemen Leander Jordan and Chris Villarrial is because he spent two seasons at Pitt before

Capizzi was suspended by then-Panthers head coach Walt Harris after
being arrested for underage drinking. And with Harris intent on
continuing to let him sit out, Capizzi transferred to IUP.

It wasn’t a Division I school, but Capizzi knew that if he played
well enough, the NFL teams would find him.

“I know I belong here,” Capizzi said recently at the team’s
offseason training program. “They’re throwing a lot of stuff at us
right now and my head is swimming. But I know I can do it. I’ve talked
to Leander and Chris a lot about their experiences coming out of a
smaller school and they’ve done it. It’s a big step, but it’s not

The Steelers feel pretty confident in his ability as well. Capizzi
is being given a shot at learning the difficult left tackle position,
where most teams put their best offensive lineman. As the defenders of
a right-handed quarterback’s blind side, the left tackle often faces an
opposing team’s best pass rusher.

That’s where Capizzi’s awesome size can be both a help and a

“It’s a little of both,” he admitted. “Because of my wingspan, I can
push pass rushers outside a little easier. But because of my height, I
also have to work harder to keep my center of gravity low. But the
coaching staff here has been great helping me with that.”

Capizzi turned down offers from the Bengals, Giants, Panthers,
Falcons and Eagles to sign with the Steelers after going undrafted.

“I just knew this was the best situation for me,” he said. “And to
get your shot at playing in the NFL for your hometown team, what more
could somebody ask for?”

What more indeed.

With this guys size and his athleticism he would definitely be a great addition to the OL. I'm just hoping he doesn't turn into another Starks (6'7" 340lbs.)

06-22-2007, 03:43 PM
If he had any kind of hands think of a At 6-9, 315 pound TE down on the goal line. Just a thought we dont realy need another TE but who knows.

Great story hope the kid does great.

06-22-2007, 04:23 PM
If he had any kind of hands think of a At 6-9, 315 pound TE down on the goal line. Just a thought we dont realy need another TE but who knows.

Great story hope the kid does great.

go with two back sets. Have him open holes for fast willie.

06-22-2007, 05:35 PM
Great read Deez,,,, :bigthumb:

Wish the kid all the luck in the world !!!!!

06-22-2007, 06:37 PM
What a surreal experience it must be for him, I can't imagine how excited he must be. I hope he does well,even if he makes the PS for us he could be a nice project for the future that could turn some heads with some work and experience.

06-23-2007, 04:09 PM
i'm rooting for this guy to make the team. We could do with a monster tackle to push the starters