It’s all about the brotherly love in Pittsburgh. No team drafts bloodlines like the Steelers do. And they added another pairing on Day Three of the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting Wisconsin LB Nick Herbig, now a teammate with big brother OG Nate Herbig, who signed in free agency last month.
Speaking to reporters after the pick was announced via 93.7 The Fan, Nick described what the moment meant to him.
“Me and him talked about this since we’re little kids,’ Herbig said via The Fan. “We grew up, we shared the same dream. We work out together, we do everything together. That’s my best friend. I don’t think blood could make us any closer. And in my brother’s famous words, ‘I’m just happy to be here.'”
That’s quoting Nate, who quipped “I’m just happy to be here” during his press conference after inking a two-year deal with the team. And if you’re wondering, listening to Nick’s conference call, he sounds just like his older brother. Like Nate, Nick is from Hawaii and the Steelers have quietly also been collecting plenty of island-born players this offseason. There’s the Herbigs, OG Isaac Seumalo, and NT Breiden Fehoko while free agent Tyson Alualu is also Hawaii-born.
Pittsburgh’s brother pairings are almost too numerous to count. There’s the Heywards, Cam and Connor. There were the Watts, T.J. and Derek, though the latter remains a free agent and doubtful to return to Pittsburgh. At one point, there were the Edmunds brothers, Terrell and Trey, and ditto with the Davis kids, Carlos and Khalil, and even for a brief time the Joneses, Jarron and Jamir.
Nate Herbig is as happy as anyone, after pounding the table for his brother to join him, joking he should be his agent. Now we’ll see if Nick owes Nate a cut of his rookie deal.
The Steelers have also focused on bloodlines elsewhere. From this class, Joey Porter Jr. is the son of former Steelers outside linebacker and coach Joey Porter Sr. The Heywards and the Edmunds brothers had a father who played in the NFL. The same went for recently departed linebacker Devin Bush, whose dad played in the NFL for several years.
At this point, it’s an upset if someone with a brother or dad who played in the NFL doesn’t become a Steeler. Though it’s sort of comical at this point, Pittsburgh trusts the bloodlines and generally has had success with it. The Steelers like prospects who have been around football their whole lives and have a brother or dad who showed them the way to make it in the NFL. It helps make the projection easier and slightly minimize risk in an inherently risky process.