On Friday night, Franco Harris will be on the stage in Cleveland, Ohio at the NFL Draft, announcing the Steelers second round pick.
And he will be doing it one night after the Steelers drafted a running back named Harris. With their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Alabama running back Najee Harris, much to the delight of the Steelers Hall of Famer.
"It's unbelievable the Steelers picked another Harris," said Franco Harris. "It's incredible. Welcome to Pittsburgh."
Now he is ready to welcome another player to Pittsburgh, and there is no place he would rather be than at the draft to do so.
After the 2020 NFL Draft was done completely virtual, Harris is thrilled to have segments of it happening in person and was honored to be asked to take part.
"The whole presence of being able to interact and see emotions and to feel it, nothing can replace that," said Harris. "Losing that last year was unfortunate. But knowing once again we can have that engagement, that excitement.
"I have to admit once again I am psyched up. I feel like I am going into the game. It's nice to feel that excitement again. There is excitement and enthusiasm."
Harris is among a mix of NFL Legends and current players slated to make picks for their teams on the second night of the draft, and he is excited about finding out who the player he gets to announce is going to be and following that player through his career.
"I really enjoy being a part of the process of a player being drafted and knowing the impact this will have on that player's life," said Harris. "This really gives that player a great opportunity to come into Pittsburgh and hopefully make the team and contribute to the city. This will be a big change in that player's life. I look at it to where these moments are life changing moments, and I am just proud to be a part of this. I really enjoy this and hopefully it's something that will make a difference to the team, the player and the City of Pittsburgh."
Harris said he hopes to get to know whoever it is he announces down the road, and that he will always follow the individual's career as there with be a bond.
"You always hope you get to bond with players," said Harris. "I will really follow him, and his career, and it will be special to me to know I announced him. You hope you can get to know the player, but you never want to infringe on their time. I just want them to know I will always be there for them if they need me."
And it won't just be that player he is there for. Harris welcomes a relationship with all rookies, knowing that those who came before them can be a strong resource as they get acclimated to the NFL.
"Even though I will be doing the second round pick, I just want to say every player picked has potential and support," said Harris. "Every player picked has an opportunity. We have players who went to the Hall of Fame being a free agent. We had players who were unbelievable picks in all of the rounds, first, second seventh, and 11th. It doesn't matter what round you are picked in, you have that potential and opportunity to come in and do some great things."
Take a look at scenes from the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland and at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex