Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE rusher Alex Highsmith has now completed his third year in the NFL, a feat that not many people can say they have done. However, in three years, all as a Steeler, he has only got to participate in training camp in Latrobe, PA once. Today, he joined Ben Roethlisberger on the Footbahlin’ podcast to talk about his experience at Saint Vincent College.
After his first two training camps being held at Acrisure Stadium due to COVID-19, this past summer Highsmith got a taste of training camp at Latrobe which he described as “crazy.”
“I enjoyed it and the atmosphere was, I heard a lot about it, but it was crazy,” Highsmith said. “All the fans down the gravel path, just sitting in the stands and stuff like that, like it was pretty cool. But it added juice to practice, I feel like.”
A trip to Latrobe for training camp is a pilgrimage for Steelers fans with fans coming from all over the world to a small Pennsylvania town to watch their favorite team gear up for the season. This leads to training camp practices filling up with raucous fans and game-like atmospheres.
For Highsmith another aspect of having training camp at Saint Vincent College is the fact that he would be living there with a roommate, a throwback to college times. When drafted, most NFL players finally expect to move past the grind of their college days, but despite this for training camp the Steelers stick them back in college dorms with a roommate to build camaraderie between the team. The team basically spends 24 hours together everyday for two weeks, something that is very unique for the Steelers.
Unfortunately for Highsmith, he did not get to experience the famous Friday Night Lights practice yet, as this past year it was rained out. It is one of the most anticipated practices in Steelers training camp as they team travels to a local high school in Latrobe and practices on the high school field. A few years back, ESPN even covered the Steelers Friday Night Lights practice and broadcasted it on television.
Hopefully for Highsmith and Steelers Nation, the weather will be kind this year and he can get his first taste of the famous Friday Night Lights practice in Latrobe.