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Calvin Austin III Detailed Steelers Drafting Him As “Shocking”; Classified Offense as “One of One”

Brandon Sloter / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Calvin Austin III Detailed Steelers Drafting Him As “Shocking”; Classified Offense as “One of One”

New Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Calvin Austin III recently sat down for an interview with and discussed a lot, including how OTAs went, early mentors, how track helped him with football, and more.

In one of the first few questions, Austin was asked what it was like on draft day getting the call from head coach, Mike Tomlin, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and admitted he thought the Steelers wouldn’t be the team that took him:

“I was somewhat surprised. My agent told me the team you don’t expect will be the team that takes you. I did have a great talk with Coach Fris [Frisman Jackson] at the [NFL] combine. When I got the call from Coach Tomlin, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was watching the draft and he told me I didn’t have to watch it anymore – they were drafting me! When I saw my name in the screen, it was surreal.

I was in shock after that call. I am blessed to go to one of the best organizations in all of sports. It’s a dream come true,” Austin said.

Steelers nearly lost Calvin Austin III to the Baltimore Ravens [READ MORE]

The Steelers drafted Austin III with their fourth round selection, the 138th overall pick in this past year’s 2022 NFL Draft. Austin is a dynamic, speedy receiver, as he only measures out to 5’9″ and 162 pounds. Still, he excelled in his four years at Memphis, catching 156 careers passes and putting up 2,710 scrimmage yards and 25 total touchdowns. He averaged 16.5 yards per play, including 21.1 yards per rushing play.

Steelers, Calvin Austin, offense

Wide Receiver Calvin Austin III (4) during the Memphis vs. SMU Football game on 11/06/2021. (Matthew A Smith, 2021)

When asked about his size and what he has done to make his size less of an issue, he dismisses that size is ever the issue at all:

“My mindset is – I look back at every incompletion, pass breakup or any play where I didn’t get open and watch that film. It’s always the details – my release, something mid-route, second-level releases – it’s always something I know I needed to execute better on. It had nothing to do with my size – my size was never a reason why a pass was broken up or why I was covered.

With my God-given abilities – there’s no one who is both quicker and faster than me that could stop me.

I know some people talk about press coverage in the NFL. Well, I went against the top corners in college football and had success. It’s hard to answer questions about my size really because I never gave it a thought,” Austin said.

“It’s always been about technique, not about size. Some see being undersized as a hindrance but God blessed me with these tools – to run fast, be quick and explosive, to jump high and get in and out of breaks quickly.”

Finally, he was asked if there are any similarities to the offense he ran in Memphis compared to the offense he is learning now with the Steelers:

“Ah…no! Not at all! This offense is definitely different – one of one.

There’s a lot of different positions – a lot of movement. It’s an easy offense to get the ball in the hands of a lot of different guys. I don’t see myself as a guy who fits in one role – I’m not that type of player. I can do a variety of things and contribute in a variety of ways – outside, inside, in the backfield – I can be moved anywhere.”


What do you think, #SteelerNation? Do you think Calvin Austin can be an integral part of the offense this season? How do you think the Steelers can utilize his speed? Is the mindset he has with football a good one, or should he play the game knowing he is disadvantaged when it comes to size to make up for it in other parts of his game? Comment down below or @anthonyravasio on Twitter.

I'm Anthony "Rav" Ravasio and I'm a Pittsburgh native currently at Arizona State University studying sports journalism. I attended North Catholic High School in Cranberry and grew up cheering for these Steelers the whole way through. In my spare time, I love to spend time with friends or family, as well as grow my knowledge for sports in many different ways! Follow me on Twitter @anthonyravasio



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  2. Roberta J Campbell

    June 28, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I’m excited to see how this young man does. I think he will come in and do great.

  3. George E. Brice

    June 28, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Calvin Austin III Happy to have you on board sir. We haven’t seen a WR with speed like that since Wallace. Harris and Austin carving up the backfield is going to be nightmare for other teams moving forward. 2 pieces of fat for the wide out room to chew on #1. Hines Ward was the last great receiver to retire in the black and gold, it’s been way to long (AB). #2. the steelers pay elite level talent Don’t mistake being #1 on the depth chart with being top 3 or top 5 in the league. If you feel like you aren’t getting the money you deserve… Stat that.

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