UConn basketball player works out for Steelers

| Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Steelers' exhaustive efforts to examine all possible prospects, from first-rounders to rookie free agents in advance of this weekend's NFL draft, included a Connecticut basketball player.

Blame it on Antonio Gates.

The Chargers landed Gates, the former basketball player from Kent State. The Steelers may wind up with UConn's Ed Nelson.

The Steelers were one of 14 teams to attend Nelson's workout last Friday, his first foray into football since his freshman season at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Since then, Nelson has played for Georgia Tech and UConn, averaging 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 60 career games.

Nelson is better known for his relentless mean streak than for his scoring off the bench.

At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, he hopes to garner interest as a potential tight end. But Nelson was unpolished in his workout.

Still, he "passed the test," according to agent Joe Linta, a Freedom native. Linta anticipates Nelson ending up in somebody's camp as a rookie free agent.

Linta said Nelson tested well physically, other than running a 4.95 and a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash.

The Steelers have also scouted 6-7, 275-pound center/forward Jai Lewis of George Mason.

Notes : The Steelers announced the re-signing of veteran safety Mike Logan, 31, on Tuesday to a one-year contract. Logan is coming off surgery following a knee injury he suffered during Super Bowl XL. Wide receiver Sean Morey and linebacker Arnold Harrison also signed one-year deals. ... The Steelers have shown interest in several potential (non-first-round) picks, including Hofstra guard Willie Colon, Pitt offensive lineman Charles Spencer, Virginia Tech tight end Jeff King, Virginia quarterback Marques Hagans and Colorado receiver/returner Jeremy Bloom.

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