Steelers Spotlight: JuJu Smith-Schuster
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had many star players over the years who have stood out and made an impact, but not many are as adored and admired as JuJu Smith-Schuster. He has only been with the team for two seasons, but his reputation, athleticism, and relationship with the city of Pittsburgh has drawn a lot of buzz. Now, Smith-Schuster is entering into his third season with the Steelers as the wide receiver who has all eyes on him.
Smith-Schuster’s journey to the NFL was long but rewarding. He began playing football when he was a kid in the Los Angeles area Little Leagues. Smith-Schuster became a football star at Long Beach Polytechnic High, which is the school that’s produced more NFL players than any other high school. His previous coaches still praise his attitude and work ethic to this day. Smith-Schuster continued to progress his football career while attending the University of Southern Carolina. During this time, he and his family were living in his grandmother’s garage. Smith-Schuster’s mother and step-father had both lost their jobs and eventually their home. The family of nine had to live in the garage for eight years, until Smith-Schuster’s final year at USC. Smith-Schuster has talked about how his parents’ resilience has impacted him a great deal, how much respect he has for them, and credits them for making his accomplishments possible. The circumstances the Smith-Schuster family went through did not stop JuJu from achieving his ambitions. He was eventually drafted in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a second-round pick.
Fans and nonfans alike saw Smith-Schuster’s impact almost immediately. In his first season, he played 14 games, logged 917 yards, and completed seven touchdowns. Smith-Schuster also achieved multiple accolades during the 2017 season. He became the fourth rookie in Steelers history to have at least seven touchdown catches during their first season. Smith-Schuster is the second Steelers rookie to record at least 95 receiving yards in back-to-back games. He became the first rookie in franchise history to record a kickoff return for a touchdown and a touchdown catch in the same game. These are only a few highlights from Smith-Schuster’s first season. During the 2018 season, Smith-Schuster played in all 16 games, ran 1,426 yards, and scored seven touchdowns. He continued to set season highs for himself and the team, eventually being voted as Team MVP and selected as a Pro Bowl alternate. Smith-Schuster’s career has been exciting so far and is expected to continue to grow. He is a vital member of the team now, for both his continued success on the field and for his competitive, yet positive attitude. Smith-Schuster seems to be on the fast track to success, just like players such as Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward have done.
At only 22-years-old, Smith-Schuster has made a name for himself. Not only is he a star athlete in the NFL, but he is actively involved in the Pittsburgh community. His recent public appearances on “Celebrity Family Feud” and at a local high school prom have made him a marketable man for the NFL and the Steelers. Smith-Schuster was even invited to London to help promote the sport of football. He is on a rollercoaster that doesn’t seem to have any falls, and he is making it hard not to get attached. Smith-Schuster’s personal and professional journey is definitely one to look out for in the upcoming years.
JuJu Smith-Schuster will be at Total Sports Enterprises’ public signing on October 5th. Find out more information here: https://tseshop.com/collections/october-5th-pre-sale