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Steelers sign Austin III

The Steelers signed rookie receiver Calvin Austin III, the fourth-round pick from Memphis, to a four-year contract.

Austin was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 and 2021, contributing not just on offense for Memphis but also on special teams. He finished his career ranked second in school history with 22 receiving touchdowns, fourth in receiving yards with 2,541 and fifth in receptions with 156. He also returned punts, including 29 for 323 yards, an 11.1-yard average, and two touchdowns.

While at Memphis he said he worked about 80% on the outside but has the versatility to go beyond that.

"That is what makes me versatile," said Austin. "With my size you would think I am just a slot receiver, but I can go in and do both. I can do outside, inside. I have experience in both."

Austin said he doesn't know how the Steelers will use him in their offensive scheme but is willing to do whatever offensive coordinator Matt Canada wants him to do.

"I am just ready for him to use me however is needed," said Austin. "I am that guy that can play inside, outside, jet sweeps, I can do it all. Whatever role he needs me, I will be excited to go out there and do that job."

Austin's speed is something that excites the Steelers, adding another welcome dimension to his game.

"Oh yeah, you see the speed on tape," said receivers coach Frisman Jackson. "With the ball in his hands and without the ball in his hands, he comes off the line of
scrimmage fast.

"He's probably one of the fastest guys in the room, but he's a smaller guy. All the rest of the guys are pretty big except for Diontae (Johnson), but he brings the speed element, and he brings toughness. Not saying that the guys weren't tough last year, but he brings some toughness along with his competitiveness, and I believe he's going to make the room fun. He's going to bring some juice and stuff to the room."