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Steelers sign four draft picks

The Steelers have signed four of the team's 2021 NFL Draft picks, including defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk, linebacker Quincy Roche, defensive back Tre Norwood and punter Pressley Harvin III.

Loudermilk, a fifth round pick who played at the University of Wisconsin, was an All-Big Ten third team selection (media), All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches) and an East-West Shrine Bowl selection.

He played in 40 career games at Wisconsin, starting 26. He has 63 career tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. He also added nine pass defenses and two forced fumbles.

His versatility is one of the things that really attracted the Steelers to him, something that he prides himself on.

"I think it's huge being able to move along the line," said Loudermilk. "I am not a one-dimensional player. I have played all over and worked those techniques at those positions. Being more versatile will help out. You can put me in any spot, and I will feel comfortable doing my job there."

Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar said after the draft that Loudermilk fits the Steelers mold, something that came from the system he played in at Wisconsin.

"The defense and tradition we had at Wisconsin was similar to what Pittsburgh has," said Loudermilk. "The schemes they are going to use me in are similar to what I have been doing the last four year. I heard he said he will use me from a zero nose to a five and that is what I was doing in college. I am going to be extremely comfortable doing the things he is going to have me do."Roche played one season at the University of Miami after transferring from Temple.

He started 10 games in 2020 for the Hurricanes, finishing the season with 45 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for a loss, ranking second on the Hurricanes and third in the ACC, and added 4.5 sacks. He was tied for the lead in the ACC with three forced fumbles and he had two fumble recoveries.

Roche, a sixth round pick who played defensive end primarily in college, said he has no problem making the transition to outside linebacker.

"I feel like I have displayed the ability to play in space on film," said Roche. "I have been asked to do a lot over my time at Temple and Miami. I have some improvement, I have some work to do, but I am 100% confident in my ability to play linebacker.

"My goal every time I step on the field is to be disruptive. Whatever the case may be. My goal when I step on the field every time is to just be disruptive."

Norwood, one of the team's seventh round picks who played at the University of Oklahoma, played in 11 games in 2020, starting five. He was the Big 12 co-leader, and tied for third nationally, with five interceptions, coming in the Sooners final six games of the season.

Norwood had 23 tackles and two pass defenses and was named Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2020 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic after returning an interception 45 yards for a touchdown in a win over No. 10 Florida.

When announcing his selection from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Coach Mike Tomlin referred to Norwood as a 'Swiss Army Knife utility back safety.'

"My first two years in college I played mostly corner, and this last season I played a lot of nickel and safety," said Norwood. "For me, my comfort level is at any one of them, because I've gotten a lot of reps at each of those positions, so whatever the coaches see for me, wherever I can help the team out best, that's where I'll be most comfortable."

Norwood was a ball hawk during his college career, with six interceptions and 21 pass defenses.

"Turnover margin is a key part to winning the game, and so being able to go out and make plays on the ball, whether it's an interception or a forced fumble, those things are huge," said Norwood. "I see myself as a guy who can go out and make plays when the ball is in the air."

Harvin, one of the team's seventh round picks who played at Georgia Tech, won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter in 2020, the first Black punter to win the award in the 21-year history of it, a position where there isn't a long list of Black players historically.

"It's been a lot of hard work to get to that point," said Harvin about being the first Black punter to win the Ray Guy Award. "High school was definitely a grind and then being able to go to Georgia Tech let me get to know the punters and add to the legacy of punters there.

"There's not many of us. You can really count on a hand of about all of us. It's just a tight-knit group. Being the first one to win the Ray Guy, I feel like I'm a trailblazer. I want to be able to pave the way for guys who come after me and make that route easier."

Harvin led the nation and set a Georgia Tech and ACC record with a 49-yard punting average. He was a unanimous first-team All-American, becoming only the third Georgia Tech player to earn that accomplishment.

Harvin, 6-0, 255 pounds, brings a solid punter to the mix for the Steelers.

"I'm a bigger dude," said Harvin. "I always get the question, 'What position do you play?' I let people try to guess themselves about my position. It's always defensive line, or fullback, or linebacker, and then when I tell people I'm a punter they're kind of astonished at the fact that I said that. When you look at me, I don't look like it, but I put in a lot of dedication into getting myself to where I am today. I thrive on it. A lot of people are unique in their own way, and mine is my size. I bring something else to the table. I have a strong leg."