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For Marcus Allen, Familiar Faces Help Ease Transition Into NFL

It’s going to be a BUSY three day weekend for Pittsburgh Steelers rookies. A new city, a new playbook, coaches, and teammates. Well, for that last one, mostly new teammates. Some have reunited and that, for a moment, helps their new lives feel a little familiar. One of those examples is Steelers 5th round pick Marcus Allen and UDFA DL Parker Cothren, a pair of Penn State products.

“Soon as I saw Parker, we just like, ‘ah, what’s up bro?’ Penn State guys, we always bonded back at Penn State. That’s my bro,” Allen said in an interview via Penn Live’s Lauren Kirschman.

Penn Live also has a brief clip of new DB coach Tom Bradley putting the group through drills.

Allen will look to carve out a role on special teams as a reserve safety. Cothren’s focus is a little more short-term, making the team out of rookie minicamp and through training camp, hopeful to nail down a practice spot and make a push for the 6th defensive line spot on the roster, though that’s a crowded room with the likes of Daniel McCullers, Joshua Frazier, and Greg Gilmore.

They aren’t the only ones. Mason Rudolph and James Washington headline the list, only the 8th QB/WR combo to be drafted by the same team. There’s also Quadree Henderson and Brandon Hodges, two Pitt products practicing next door to their college facility. Henderson was signed immediately after the draft having no desire to get out of the city while Hodges is in minicamp on a tryout basis. Linebacker Matt Galambos, a first year player who made the team on a tryout in 2017, is also a former Panther and someone who can probably pass along words of wisdom.

Other players are coming back home or staying local. Dorian Brown played his college ball at Ohio but grew up at Baldwin High School, a stone’s throw from downtown Pittsburgh. Wide receiver Tyler Palka is from Gannon, a couple hours north of the city, while tryout linebacker Cameron Tarver spent the last three years at Cal U.

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