As the football world has been grieving the death of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris, so has the Steelers locker room. In the past hour, the Steelers locker room was opened up to reporters after their practice today, and they asked some of the players their thoughts on the sudden death of Harris.
One of those players was Pat Freiermuth, a Penn State alum like Harris. The Trib’s Chris Adamski posted a video to Twitter in which Freiermuth detailed the relationship he had with Harris and the sadness he is feeling today.
“I knew him at Penn State, him and his wife Dana.” Freiermuth said. “I just built that relationship through that, and then getting drafted by the Steelers and him announcing my pick was just cool and a huge honor. And then learning more about him and his legacy in Pittsburgh throughout my time here. Me and him and his wife Dana we’ve been to dinner a couple times, we built our relationship. It’s definitely sad.”
Freiermuth, like Harris was highly successful at Penn State with both only staying three years at Happy Valley and each scoring double digit touchdowns for the Nittany Lions (Harris with 25 total and Freiermuth with 16). As Freiermuth mentioned, Harris announced him getting picked by the Steelers on April 30, 2021, a little over 49 years after Harris himself got picked by the Steelers in 1972.
Since becoming a Steeler, Freiermuth has become close with Steelers legends, notably Heath Miller who Miller says Freiermuth has texted him before games. However, today Freiermuth gave an insight to how close Harris is with him and possibly other Steelers as he referenced in the video above how going out to dinner with Harris and his family.
Freiermuth went on to tell reporters he know Harris will still be there in spirit this weekend.
Many people who have been part of the Steelers organization have said it is like one big family where alumni will drop in and see how people in the organization are doing and meet the new players. Harris, who stayed in Pittsburgh post career played a big part in that.
Harris will surely be missed by not only members of the Steelers organization, but also to fans across the globe who remembered him and and all the great moments he provided to the game of football.