The fact that he reached out to the Steelers speaks volumes about his character. Hopefully his decision making skills will improve now that he's been given a chance.
2nd Round Ė 56th Overall
How did you convince the Steelers to draft you?
For me, it was more about trying to get back in their good graces. I knew that I screwed up. Iíve been a lifelong Steelers fan. I struck out to meet with them and just to let them know what happened and show my remorse and let them know that I love that organization and that Iíll do anything to be a part of it.
Is this a dream come true for you?
Oh yeah. I guess you could say that. The first jersey I wore said ďSteelersĒ across the front at Farrell Elementary School when I was six years old, so saying that itís a dream come true is an understatement.
Were the Steelers the only team you met with?
They were the only team that I contacted to meet with, yes.
What do you feel you need to do to earn and keep this teamís trust?
Do the things Iím supposed to do. Make the right decisions. Produce on the field. As long as I do the right things I think everything will be ok.
What were some of the criteria that the Steelers laid out for you?
Thatís something thatís between me and them. I think thatís probably how weíre going to keep it.
Are you more relieved than happy at this point that this has past?
I am happy to be a Steeler and relieved that itís all over. I love this organization and I am glad to be a part of it.
What was your reaction when Kevin Colbert told you that you were off the board?
It was something that was really hard to deal with. Thatís the team that I wanted to go to from day one. Ever since I started imagining playing in the NFL, the Steelers have always been the team I wanted to go to.
What are your expectations on the field?
I have high goals for myself and for my team. First and foremost, I want to win some Super Bowls. Individually, I want to be All-Pro. I want to be the best left tackle in the league. I believe I was the best tackle in the draft, and I believe I can show that on the field.
Why the affinity for the Steelers?
I am from Farrell, Pennsylvania. Itís about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh. When I was a four-year old, my entire bedroom was all Pittsburgh Steelersí stuff. Iíve been in love with this organization since I started watching football. It was important for me to reach out to them because this is something I definitely wanted to be a part of.
Did you go to Farrell high school?
I lived there until I was 12. My entire family still lives there. I go back about once every month. Iím pretty interactive in the community up there, I love that place. I graduated from Dublin
Coffman high school though.
How did you convince the Pittsburgh Steelers that you love football and have a passion for the game?
If you talk to any of my coaches or teammates I donít think you can doubt my passion for the game. This is what I love to do, this is what Iím passionate about and this is the only place where I can really see myself being. That part wasnít really a big issue. I think everybody knows Iím very passionate about the game, I love football and this is who I am.
On if you are more comfortable with the right or left side?
It doesnít matter. Iíve played left my entire life and my entire career, so thatís probably where Iím more comfortable. Iíll do whatever I have to do to contribute to the Steelers.
On the battles between you and Cameron Heyward:
Cameron and I used to battle all the time so itís good to be back with him and I canít wait to have those heated battles in practice.