Pitt’s football players train in the same facility as the Pittsburgh Steelers, so it’s not uncommon for players from both sides of UPMC Rooney Sports Complex to cross paths on a regular basis.
That doesn’t mean Pitt players still don’t get a bit star struck when they see Steelers players up close and personal.
Such was the case Wednesday at Pitt Pro Day, particularly when the former Panthers gathered in the weight room to have their measurements taken.
Seated next to the measuring station and jotting down the sizes was Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is continuing his recovery from spinal cord surgery.
“You’re getting in line to have your hand measured, and he comes walking through the door,” linebacker Elijah Zeise said. “It was pretty sick.”
A year ago, Shazier was confined to a wheelchair when he attended the Pitt Pro Day. He recently started doing some light jogging and walked at ease through the indoor complex Wednesday while observing the events. Shazier took part in timing the 40-yard dash and remained on hand through individual position drills which wrapped up the four-hour session.
“It was cool to see him,” said defensive back and special teams player Colin Jonov, who spent a year at Pitt after getting his degree from Bucknell. “He’s an inspiration to me with just everything he’s been through. Being this close to him was really cool.”
Shazier wasn’t the only Steelers player in attendance. Running back James Conner gave pointers to his former Pitt teammates, including running backs Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall.
“He helped me as much as he could,” Ollison said. “I appreciate him being here, taking time out of his day.”
Other former Panthers on hand were Lafayette Pitts, Ejuan Price and Matt Galambos.