Oftentimes when entering the NFL, a player is used to being the big fish in a small pond at the collegiate level and has to learn to prove himself all over again, this time as the small fish in a big pond.
For Pittsburgh Steelers rookie seventh-round cornerback Cory Trice Jr., proving himself all over again is nothing new. He’s done it so many times that it’s become second nature to him. He’ll have to do it again in the NFL, this time as a surprising seventh-round pick.
Trice, of course, fell down the draft due to medical concerns coming out of Purdue. It’s why he wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl despite being one of the top senior cornerbacks in the country, and largely why he went in the seventh round to Pittsburgh. He could be a remarkable steal for the Black and Gold after being a consensus top-10 cornerback throughout the draft process in a loaded class.
Speaking with reporters following Day 2 of the Steelers’ rookie minicamp at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side, Trice said it’s the same thing all over again for him.
“Really, all my life I always had to prove myself, so it was just one of those things I gotta prove myself once again and don’t mind doing it,” Trice said, according to video via Steelers.com. “When I had to switch to corner going back to college, I switched to corner [from safety]. I had to prove myself, establish myself there; come back from my injury 2021, proved myself, and now I gotta prove myself again.”
Proving himself is what Trice has done time and time again.
A former 3-star recruit, Trice entered college at Purdue as a safety before switching to corner, where he established himself as one of the best corners in the Big Ten. Then came the injuries, which he ultimately bounced back from and had a strong senior season.
Still, those injuries followed him as teams dinged him in the pre-draft process due to his history, which played a key role in him getting drafted at No. 241 overall by Pittsburgh.
Now, as a seventh-round pick and slightly overshadowed — through no fault of their own — in his own draft class by fellow corner Joey Porter Jr., Trice has to prove himself again and show he can not only stick on an NFL roster but also work his way into a contributing role.
Based on his history of proving himself and playing strong football, don’t count out Trice from doing it again in Pittsburgh.