Doran Grant will have no trouble feeling at home in the Steelers locker room, because it seems like everywhere he looks there is going to be a familiar face.
Grant, the team's fourth round draft pick, played at Ohio State and the Steelers roster is loaded with former Buckeyes, including Will Allen, Mike Adams, Cam Heyward and his close pal Ryan Shazier.
"He is like my brother," said Shazier. "We came into Ohio State together. We hang out all of the time. When we drafted him, it was drafting one of my close friends. I called him right afterwards. I was really excited about it."
Grant felt the same way. When he first arrived for minicamp, Shazier was right there to greet him.
"As soon as I walked into the locker room I saw him," said Grant. "Cam Heyward texted right after I got picked. Ryan face timed me right after I got off with Coach (Mike) Tomlin. It was great. Ryan and I are like brothers. We were in the same class at Ohio State. We have been close. It's been great to be with him.
"You get to come in and see some familiar faces and you know what they are going to give on the field, they know what you are going to give."
For those who don't know exactly what the rookie cornerback can bring to the defense, Shazier tried to spell it out.
"He is a great guy, a great player," said Shazier. "I really feel like he is going to help. He is an aggressive corner who likes to tackle and is going to bring more speed to the defense.
"He is a tough corner. He has all of the attributes we want in a corner. He will do a great job."
Grant, who finished at Ohio State with 146 tackles, one sack and four tackles for loss, likes being tagged as a tough corner.
Steelers' rookies take the field for Rookie Minicamp.
"I play with a lot of physicality and a lot of intelligence," said Grant. "I am just gritty. It's the 'want to' to go tackle, beat a block, hit somebody, and not be afraid. It's part of the game."
Another part of the game is his ability to give the ball back to the offense. He had nine interceptions, including five his senior season, and 20 pass break-ups at Ohio State.
"There is nothing better than making a special play like that on defense," said Grant. "To get the ball for the offense and possibly score…that is just an extraordinary play in my opinion."
With the team's minicamp now behind him, Grant will remain in Pittsburgh taking part in offseason workouts, followed by OTAs and the veteran minicamp. It will be a lot to take in, but Shazier has some advice that he learned last year as a rookie.
"Just let everything happen," said Shazier. "Don't try to do too much. Just let everything happen. Don't try to anticipate things, let them happen and it will be all right."