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Alan Baxter excited to be in Nikes, on Steelers

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The Steelers signed undrafted free agent Alan Baxter out of Northern Illinois due to his explosion and quickness. It's gotta be the shoes, as he's excited about his footwear in Latrobe, and his coaches are noticing.

Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sport

Steelers undrafted rookie free agent Alan Baxter was happy about at least one thing heading into his first pro training camp.

He gets to wear Nike cleats again.

Baxter tweeted this at the onset of camp, noting his alma mater, Northern Illinois University, had a different gear supplier.

#NIUProblems.

Baxter isn't having too many problems on the field, writes DeKalb Daily Chronicle correspondent and BTSC contributor Dale Grdnic.

He highlights a play in which Baxter identified a swing pass to Le'Veon Bell coming out of the backfield. He was there to make a play on the ball carrier, but they weren't wearing pads.

It's caught the attention of Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler.

"...Alan’s a smart kid, and he’s been working hard. He obviously has some things to learn, but he’s made a few plays so far."

He's the classic Steelers project; a college defensive end at a non-BCS school. Undersized (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) for defensive end, and maybe even a little smallish for outside linebacker.

Athleticism is valued even more in today's game, though, and perhaps Baxter lines himself up for a practice squad spot.

It's not out of the question, either. The Steelers had undrafted rookies OLB Adrian Robinson, safety Robert Golden and cornerback Josh Victorian on the active roster by the end of the season.

Whether it had anything to do with what cleats they were wearing remains to be seen, but Baxter seems excited.

ICYMI today on BTSC: