Rookies were fans first

Sure, once you are drafted by an NFL team you and your family, immediately become a fan of that team. You have an instant connection, a bond, and a loyalty.

But for this year's crop of Steelers draft picks, that connection was formed well before several of them got the phone call telling them they were now Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sean Davis – S – Second Round

Steelers' rookies take the field for rookie minicamp.

Sean Davis' dad wanted nothing more than for his son to be drafted by the Steelers. The elder Davis is a Steelers fan, especially a fan of Coach Mike Tomlin.

"My dad always wanted me to play for Coach Tomlin. It's a dream come true for real," said Davis. "He always wins. He is a great coach and he is all about winning. This team wins Super Bowls. It's a top caliber team. It's just awesome. It's the football tradition here. It's 100 percent football and that is what I am all about."

Javon Hargrave – DT – Third Round

When Javon Hargrave arrived in Pittsburgh for the first time after he was drafted, he was handed some Steelers gear. He really didn't even need it as he had plenty of his own.

"I have the gear myself. This is nothing for me," said Hargrave. "I have a lot of it. I was a big Steelers fan growing up. It's a dream come true for me. When I got the call that I was being drafted by the Steelers, I was thinking this is too perfect."

Hargrave watched the Steelers ever since he can remember, and was always a big fan of Troy Polamalu.

"Seeing him jumping over people, getting a pick six for the game winners, was awesome," said Hargrave. "He was crazy. He always made the plays to win the game. That excited me being a fan of the Steelers."

Demarcus Ayers – WR/KR – Seventh Round

For rookie Demarcus Ayers, coming to the Steelers means the opportunity to work with two players whose careers he has followed from the get-go, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.  

"I have been watching Ben from the start, since the Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El days," said Ayers. "Those guys were great receivers playing for him. I have had a chance to watch him his whole career. It's going to be fun catching balls from him. Hopefully he has four or five more years in him so I can keep doing it.

"It's going to be surreal at first. He has been in the league 13 years. I was eight years old. It's crazy I am not going to just be playing him on video games, but actually on the field. He is a guy who had a great career and done great things."

Ayers also said that Brown is a player he has looked to as someone he wants to be like.

"It's his passion," said Ayers. "He was a day three draft guy like me. He put up big numbers at a small school. We are the same size. I can see his passion and it motivates me. I think we have the same type of swagger of how we approach things and wanting to get better. I am excited to learn from him. Hopefully he is willing to spend some time with me."

It's not just the offensive players that Ayers has been a fan of though.

"I was a fan of the team. I watched the Super Bowls," said Ayers. "Troy Polamalu was one of my favorite players. Ike Taylor, all of those guys. I have been a fan. I am from Dallas and support the Cowboys because it's the hometown team. But the Steelers were my AFC team."

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