Coming home: "I'm coming home. I'm coming home."
Those were the first words from Marcus Allen as he talked to the media after he was selected by the Steelers in the fifth round, the 148th pick overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Allen's father, Shawn Allen, is from the Homewood area of Pittsburgh and while they now live in Maryland, they still have plenty of family in Pittsburgh. Allen, who played at Penn State, grew up a Steelers fan, and said he immediately put on a Steelers hat once he got the call.
"It's all tears of joy right now," said Allen. "Everyone has been anxious, anxious wondering where I was going to go, but it's a perfect situation. This is my home man. It's my hometown. My grandmother is from there. My grandfather is from there - my whole family. I'm just so excited.
"I am a Steelers fan. I got all this Steelers gear in my room. I just walked in my room and grabbed the hat off my stand and just put it on because I had so much Steelers gear."
All-purpose back: The Steelers draft focused on players who bring multiple talents to the table, and that is the case with running back Jaylen Samuels from North Carolina State, also taken in the fifth round. Samuels is listed as a running back, but also played tight end in college.
"Kid is a very talented, multi-purpose kid that has done a lot of different jobs," said running backs coach James Saxon. "He's going to get every opportunity once he comes here to do a lot different jobs. I am looking forward to getting this kid on the grass. He is going to get an opportunity to do everything we do in our room in terms of being a running back. The kid answers the bell in a lot of different ways."
A true sign of his versatility, Samuels was first-team ACC as an all-purpose player. "Being able to catch the ball, run the ball, and make guys miss in open space. I feel like that's my specialty," said Samuels. "I'm more of a power-style running back. A guy that's going to get North to South. Our team at NC State, we ran a lot of outside zone, so once we ran outside zone, I just tried to hit it downhill, make guys miss. I'm a stiff-arm type guy. That's my specialty, the stiff arm. Just try to get around guys and make guys miss so that's the kind of runner I am. Smart runner, got a lot of good football IQ so just got a little knack for the end zone. That's just what I do."
Familiar face:** The Steelers closed out their 2018 NFL Draft class by selecting defensive tackle Joshua Frazier from Alabama. Frazier was coached in college by new Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, so there is plenty of familiarity there.
"I think he is strong at the point, he can push the pocket and the good thing about it is I coached him the last two years," said Dunbar. "He can demand two blockers. He is a big, athletic kid who you can't find a lot of. When you do you have to take advantage." When asked what Dunbar liked about coaching him, his answer was simple.
"We won a National Championship, so it wasn't bad at all."