No regrets for Justin Layne about switching positions |

No regrets for Justin Layne about switching positions

Joe Rutter
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers 3b-round pick Justin Layne goes through drills during rookie mini camp Friday, May 10, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

When he arrived at Michigan State in 2016, Justin Layne was hoping to follow in the footsteps of Andre Rison and Plaxico Burress – Spartans wide receivers who became NFL stars.

Before his freshman season was over, that dream was dashed.

Layne was playing cornerback.

“I wasn’t in favor of it at first, but it worked out, so I’m in favor of it now,” Layne said Friday after the first day of rookie minicamp for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The position switch worked out well enough for Layne that he was taken in the third round (No. 83 overall) by the Steelers, who were intrigued by the rookie corner’s 6-foot-3 frame.

Layne was an all-Ohio wide receiver at Benedictine High School in Cleveland, and he was rated as the No. 42 receiver in the country by ESPN.

After initially balking at playing cornerback, Layne realized the request made by coach Mark Dantonio was in his best interests.

“There are a lot of 6-2, 6-3 receivers, there are not a lot of 6-2, 6-3 cornerbacks that can move like me,” Layne said. “I was thinking about my future for the most part.”

Layne, however, remained an occasional part of the offensive game plan. He returned to wide receiver for two games in 2018 and had one catch for 11 yards while playing 16 offensive snaps against Purdue.

“It didn’t stress my prep,” Layne said. “I already knew the defense, and I knew most of the offense, and it was a fun thing. I did it in high school, so why not do it in college?”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.