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Troy Fautanu wasn’t the only 2024 draft pick to grow up a Steelers fan

After every NFL Draft there are always tremendous stories of players who were selected by their favorite team growing up. Being able to root for your team, then eventually wear those colors and play in that stadium has to be as surreal as it gets for players entering the NFL.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, everyone heard quickly about 1st Round draft pick Troy Fautanu’s fandom as a young kid growing up on the west coast.

“It all started with Troy Polamalu.” Fautanu said in his introductory press conference. “I was a big Troy Polamalu fan. Kind of watching him, and you get to see what the Steelers are all about, how they play football, what the brand of football is. I kind of took that and put it into my own game. What I think of when I think of the Steelers, I think of gritty. I think of working in the trenches, stuff you don’t see. I take it personally because it’s part of my job. It’s an awesome organization. I’m just so happy to be a part of it.”

How did Fautanu gravitate to the Steelers? Don’t get the story twisted, it wasn’t this father…

“I’m going to clear some things up. My dad wasn’t a Steelers fan.” said Fautanu. “I’m not going to say the team he is a fan of. It was me that just kind of grew the love. I mean, I had an uncle and aunt that were Steelers fans, and we lived with them for a year when we moved to Vegas, and then I’m, like, oh, these guys are cool. They’re playing the sport that I was. I’ve always gone against the grain because I’m a West Coast kid. We’re from the West Coast, and my dad is, like, oh, why do you like the Pittsburgh Steelers? They’re on the other side of the country. It just happened. Everything played out the way it was supposed to, so…”

While the Fautanu story is awesome, he isn’t the only drafted Steelers player who was a fan of the black-and-gold growing up. The other? Logan Lee, the 6th Round draft pick out of Iowa.

“I just had a friend and his dad, Austin and Rich. They were huge Steelers fans.” Lee recalled. “So, they kind of got me started and then I started like, really getting into the thickens of historical NFL stuff. I just love the Steel Curtain era stuff. I loved watching Mel Blount slam people in their heads and stuff. So, I was always a big Steelers fan growing up.”

In fact, Lee actually met head coach Mike Tomlin at a high school event when Tomlin was attending to see his son. Lee recalls that moment, and what it was like for him as a young player.

“He wasn’t able to be there when I came in for the visit this past time, but in high school, I ended up meeting him. I think his son was at a Nike opening camp and I was there. I was running down the field and I accidentally ran into him, “Oops, sorry. Sorry, sir. Oh, my gosh, you’re Coach Tomlin.” And then I was just freaking out. I tested really well that day.”

These stories are tremendous to hear, and the next question is if these players can not just find their way with their childhood teams, but be impact players and forge their own legacy with the black-and-gold. It all starts this weekend at rookie minicamp, so be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2024 regular season.


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