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Johnson: 'To go to the Steelers was special'

Posted May 15, 2014

Offensive lineman Wesley Johnson was thrilled to have been drafted by his grandfather’s favorite football team.

When rookies put on their uniform for the first time when the preseason rolls around, it won’t be the first time offensive lineman Wesley Johnson will be wearing a Steelers’ uniform. 

“I had Steelers gear as a kid, the little fake helmet and things like that,” said Johnson, the team’s fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt. “I had the kid’s uniform.”

Johnson can thank his grandfather, Al Vadnais, for making sure he got an early introduction to Steelers’ football.

Vadnais, the father of Johnson’s mother Arlene, lived in Pittsburgh and was a Steelers’ season ticket holder.

“He went to all of the games,” said Johnson. “He has been a fan of the team for a long time.

“He was really excited after the draft when I talked to him. I don’t think there could have been a better situation for him. He was so happy. He has always been a huge Steelers fan. He talked about how good the Steelers have been to our family. He was really excited about all of it.”

Johnson said he takes great pride in being a member of the team that has brought so much joy to his family over the years.

“It’s really cool to see how happy he is because of it,” said Johnson. “He and my mom are so excited about it. That entire side of the family is elated about it because they really have followed the team. My mom’s family are huge Steelers fans, and always have been. Her reaction was exactly the same as my grandfather’s was. She was just thrilled.”

Johnson admits he wasn’t as big a Steelers’ fan growing up, following college football more, but he definitely knows plenty about the team and is happy to be wearing the black and gold now.

“I had to know everything about the Steelers because of my family,” said Johnson. “I was pumped to go to any team, but to go to the Steelers was really special.

“It’s going to be really cool, I can’t wait. It’s going to be surreal.”

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