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Allegheny

Pine-Richland grad Kevin Rader signs futures deal with Steelers

Joe Rutter
| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, 2:03 p.m.
Youngstown State’s Kevin Rader makes a catch past Pitt’s Dennis Briggs in the third quarter Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla
Youngstown State’s Kevin Rader makes a catch past Pitt’s Dennis Briggs in the third quarter Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Heinz Field.

With two tight ends set to hit free agency in March, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Pine-Richland and Youngstown State tight end Kevin Rader to a futures contract Wednesday.

Rader was an undrafted free agent in 2018 and spent last summer in the Green Bay Packers’ training camp.

Rader began his college career as a defensive end but switched to tight end after his redshirt freshman season. He made 24 starts over his final two seasons.

In 43 games at Youngstown State, Rader had 44 receptions for 601 yards and four touchdowns. As a senior in 2017, he had 22 catches for 272 yards and two scores.

Starter Vance McDonald is the only experienced tight end under contract. Backups Jesse James (unrestricted) and Xavier Grimble (restricted) will become free agents March 13. Other tight ends on the roster are practice-squad player Bucky Hodges and Jake McGee, who spent the 2018 season on injured reserve.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at jrutter@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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