Doran Grant walked into the Steelers locker room on Thursday afternoon, took a look around, and immediately saw a familiar face. Grant, the cornerback the Steelers selected in the fourth round out of Ohio State, was greeted right off the bat by linebacker Ryan Shazier, his former teammate with the Buckeyes and a player he refers to as being like a brother.
"As soon as I walked into the locker room I saw him," said Grant. "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."
Grant, along with the majority of the Steelers rookies, arrived in Pittsburgh on Thursday and started taking care of details, from being fit for equipment, to having headshots taken, and any medical testing needed. Then on Friday it will be on to the field for three days of showing why the team drafted or signed them.
"It's exciting to be here, to actually be in an NFL program," said Grant. "It's actually crazy. I am speechless right now.
"It's here, it's now, and I am ready to get going."
Fellow rookie Gerod Holliman, a safety out of Louisville who was taken in the seventh round, felt the same way.
"It's been really good so far," said Holliman. "I am really excited to be here and I am just looking forward to getting out on the field and showing what I can do. I am just coming to showcase my talents and be a part of this organization."
Holliman, who has been to Pittsburgh once before when Louisville played the University of Pittsburgh, said seeing Heinz Field as he came from the airport was a special thing.
Rookies arrive to get their equipment fitted.
"My goal has always been to play in the NFL," said Holliman. "Being able to pass the field where I can potentially make my mark is very overwhelming. That is something I get joy from. I can't wait to get out there."
Fifth-round pick Jesse James is no stranger to seeing Heinz Field. The tight from Penn State is from Glassport, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh. And it's a thrill for him to be a member of his hometown team.
"It feels great to be back in Pittsburgh," said James. "I am ready to work and get to work with these guys. I couldn't be happier for the opportunity the Steelers gave me. I am excited to get out here and get to work this weekend."