While the NFL Draft world awaits the start of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis at the end of February, it isn’t the only scouting combine which exists. The Historically Black College and University (HBCU) combine was recently held and the Pittsburgh Steelers had a strong presence at the event.
In fact, Omar Khan, the Steelers General Manager (GM) was the lone GM in attendance at the workouts.
This from Steve Wyche and Scott Pioli:
The one GM at the HBCU Combine @steelers Omar Khan. https://t.co/OoboluHkIE— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) February 20, 2023
Don’t confuse this as meaning the Steelers were the only organization there scouting players, that would be a blatant lie. Rather, all 32 NFL teams had scouts in attendance, but Khan was the only GM to take the time to attend in person.
.@steelers General Manager Omar Khan in the house today scouting the @HBCULegacyBowl players #steelers pic.twitter.com/GvXi16f5A5— HBCU LEGACY BOWL (@HBCULegacyBowl) February 20, 2023
For anyone who knows anything about the rich history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they know about how they tapped into the vast amount of talent at HBCUs throughout the dynasty of the 70s to create their dominant rosters.
Players like Donnie Shell, Mel Blount and John Stallworth all came from HBCUs, and Bill Nunn was a large reason for the Steelers being ahead of the curve in this regard. The HBCUs don’t get as much attention in today’s game, but the Steelers still have shown the willingness to draft players out of HBCUs. Javon Hargrave in 2016 came from South Carolina State, the same school which produced Donnie Shell in 1974.
Many were skeptical of Khan being named GM after Kevin Colbert retired after the 2022 NFL Draft, but it seems clear Khan is willing to leave no stone unturned as he prepares for his first full offseason on the job.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.