Meet Tyler Shaw, the Steelers latest roster addition

Christian Petersen

Filling the spot vacated by Plaxico Burress, who was placed on injured reserve following shoulder surgery, Shaw's success at the Division II level in both football and track make him an intriguing prospect.

Odds are excellent you know where Missouri is, and provided a map, you could find the Northwest quadrant of the state.

Putting all that together, you have Northwest Missouri State - a powerhouse football program in the dying Division II level of the NCAA.

It's the school that defeated former Steelers DE Aaron Smith's Northern Colorado squad in his last collegiate game in 1998. The Bearcats have claimed three NCAA Division II national championships, the most recent having come in 2009.

That 2009 squad had on it a redshirt freshman receiver, who also qualified for the NCAA National Indoor Track Championship in the 60-meter hurdles.

Meet Tyler Shaw, the Steelers' newest wide receiver. When you're on a bar stool years from now, and the trivia host is offering a free appetizer if you can answer this question, "who did the Steelers sign to replace Plaxico Burress when he blew out his rotator cuff in 2013?" you can thank me, and order some marinara for those mozzy sticks.

Shaw has return ability, which may be why the Steelers are bringing him in this late into camp. Shaw had 957 yards and 12 touchdowns on 54 catches his senior year, initially signing as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals.

If nothing else, he's athletic. He's also a "Steelers baby," although that may not be what he's trying to say.

He won four state track championships while at Lutheran High School in St. Louis, and was a six-time All American runner in outdoor and indoor track for Northwest Missouri State. Solid production, even for the Division II level, make him an intriguing prospect, even if his chances of making this roster are slim-to-none.

His arrival could simply be due to the fact the Steelers had a hole to fill for the remainder of the preseason - someone has to play against Carolina in the preseason finale. Maybe it's a message to players like David Gilreath - an outside-looking-in receiver who fumbled a punt in the Steelers' preseason-opener against the Giants.

Incoming tacklers on a kick return could be seen as moving hurdles. Maybe that will be more familiar to Shaw.

Stranger things have happened, but if nothing else, maybe he provides some competition at wide receiver and in the return game.

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