LATROBE, Pa. — Ziggy Hood heard the name, knew the pedigree and wondered exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers were getting into when they chose defensive lineman Cameron Heyward with the 31st pick in the NFL draft.
A first-round pick from Ohio State whose father Craig is a Steel City legend following his career at Pitt? That could lead to a combustible mix of ego and privilege, right?
“It’s the recipe for it,” Hood said.
Just not with Heyward.
The rookie doesn’t really do ego. He doesn’t do privilege either. Instead, you’ll find him doing the things that rookies — even first-round picks — are supposed to do during a first training camp. If he’s not carrying the pads of a veteran teammate off the field following practice then he’s picking up the tab for the defensive line’s late-night snacks.
“He’s a rookie, and he acts like a rookie,” said defensive tackle Casey Hampton. “That’s a major thing. You kind of probably wouldn’t think that from his background but obviously his father and his mama did a great job of keeping him grounded.”
Heyward didn’t really have a choice. His father, Craig, mother Charlotte and older brothers Craig Jr. and Corey made sure Heyward knew his place.
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Steelers rookie winning over veterans