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Connellsville grad McCrae signs to play with Steelers

Terrence McCrae will have the opportunity to live out nearly every Western Pennsylvania football player's dream.

The 2006 Connellsville graduate signed a contract with the Steelers on Tuesday.

He made a trip yesterday from Columbus, Ohio, to Pittsburgh to meet with coaches and team representatives. He will report Thursday to Latrobe for the start of training camp.

"Besides being my hometown team, I'm excited about it because my uncle (Sam Davis) played for them," McCrae said of the Steelers.

McCrae, a Vanderbilt native, starred as a wide receiver at Ohio University, finishing his career with 85 catches, 1,197 receiving yards and a school-record 19 touchdown receptions.

McCrae was a three-year starter at Connellsville, earning all-conference and all-county honors his senior year, when he caught 33 passes for 651 yards and seven touchdowns. He also was named to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review All-Class AAAA team as a defensive back that season.

When the NFL lockout ended Monday, McCrae estimated he spoke with 12 teams interested in his services. He said every team in the AFC North contacted him, and the Kansas City Chiefs showed a lot of interest.

"Throughout the whole process, (the Steelers) didn't show a lot of interest and weren't really in the picture," McCrae said. "But they contacted my agent, and we negotiated a contract."

At 6-foot-4, 198 pounds, McCrae is a large, physical target. He's hoping his size gives him an edge in making the team.

"I think that the chances are pretty good," McCrae said. "I'll go up and catch the ball, and I don't mind blocking. In their offensive scheme, I'm a good fit."

Despite the potential difficulty of earning a Steelers roster spot as an undrafted free agent, McCrae allowed himself a brief moment to think about what it would be like to play for his hometown team.

"Just knowing that I could potentially play a game there (at Heinz Field) and then go home to my house is pretty crazy," he said.

Roster expansion

The Steelers agreed to contracts with 18 undrafted rookies Tuesday:

Player, Pos., School, Ht, Wt.

Ty Boyle, DE, North Dakota, 6-3, 285

Niles Brinkley, CB, Wisconsin, 5-10, 193

Derek Chard, LS, Connecticut, 6-3, 245

Vaughn Charlton, TE, Temple, 6-5, 253

Miguel Chavis, DE, Clemson, 6-5, 280

Eric Clanton, OLB, Citadel, 6-3, 242

John Clay, RB, Wisconsin, 6-1, 230

Anthony Gray, DT, Southern Mississippi, 6-0, 330

Brett Greenwood, S, Iowa, 5-11, 198

Eric Greenwood, WR, Idaho, 6-6, 212

Joshua Harrison, OT, S.C. State, 6-4, 303

Mario Harvey, ILB, Marshall, 5-11, 250

Terrence McCrae, WR, Ohio, 6-4, 198

Colin Miller, C, Central Michigan, 6-3, 299

Adam Mims, WR, Furman, 5-8, 195

Armand Robinson, WR, Miami (Ohio), 5-11, 197

Weslye Saunders, TE, South Carolina, 6-5, 270

Trevis Turner, OT, Abilene Christian, 6-7, 333

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