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The fifth round has always been somewhat of a crapshoot for the Steelers organization. It's produced stars like Mike Webster, Barry Foster, and Hardy Nickerson, as well as solid contibutors such as Lee Flowers, Jerame Tuman, and Clark Haggans. On the other hand, it's also given us forgettable names like Omar Jacobs, Tee Martin, and Charles Davis.

This year, the Steelers had two picks in round five, the first one used on CB Joe Burnett, a 5'9", 192-pounder from Central Florida who was a first-team All-American last season. In fact, Burnett has a lengthy list of college accolades, including:

Burnett, a four-year starter at UCF, will add depth at the defensive back position and presumably throw his hat in the ring for a returner job.

With their next pick, the team chose RB Frank "The Tank" Summers, a 5'9", 243-pounder from UNLV by way of Oakland, California. Last season, the bruising back who's sure to be a training camp favorite ran for 740 yards and eight touchdowns on 183 carries, with three 100-yard games to his credit.

Summers has long been on the Steelers' radar, according to this article I dug up from his pro day at UNLV:

And if there's one team whose attention Summers caught more than anyone's as a fullback, it was the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who had two scouts on-hand alongside running backs coach Kirby Wilson.

The Steelers' staffers in attendance, after all of the players' running tests were completed, held Summers behind on the field to have him run a series of cone drills and pass-catching sets.

They wanted to see first-hand the soft and sure mitts that hauled in 36 passes during Summers' two seasons as a Rebel, which were a nice supplement to his 1,668 rushing yards.

After his first grab, a pass to the flat, he turned, grunted and sprinted downfield.

Wilson told him upon returning to the formation that he didn't have to worry about finishing each route after the catch.

Summers paid it no mind, running at least 20 yards, full speed, following each snag. He caught every catchable ball thrown his way.

At one point, one scout said, under his breathe, 'He's a junior Bus', referring to sure-fire Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, who helped carry the Steelers to a win in Super Bowl XL over Seattle in 2006 to cap his brilliant 13-year career.

Junior Bus? Frank the Tank? This guy's got more nicknames than any other Steeler drafted ahead of him this year. Write it down: you will hear a lot more about Summers in the near future.

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Unknown said...

Frank the Tank shirts will be flying off the shelves in the Strip District as quickly as they can print them.

Brad said...

I am a UCF alumni and had the pleasure of watching Joe Burnett. I will tell you he was the main reason that UCF was close in any games till the end, Ask every Miami player on offense and Special teams who rocked there world in the game last year. The Miami coach even said stay away from him. He may not "mesure" fast, but either did Rice or another famous CB from UCF, Asante Samuel, and Joe beat Asante's records. I was rooting for us to get him, give him 2 years and watch this pick.

jimmy_the_freak said...

"Junior Bus"? This seems destined to end up as the Short Bus.

Unknown said...

I really like Frank the Tank, but could live with MiniBus.