(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Teresa Varley of Steelers.com recently interviewed seventh-round pick Pressley Harvin III, and the punter out of Georgia Tech shared an interesting story from draft day where he almost stayed in Georgia and signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent.
"Funny story. I was on the phone with the Falcons about a free agency deal the moment I got the call (from the Steelers)," Harvin told Varley. "I didn't realize the Steelers were on the clock. When I got the call, the head coach of the Falcons was on the phone with me and I said, coach, I hate to cut you off, but I have to take this call. I missed switching over by about three seconds. The call coming from Pittsburgh hung up. I raced to call back.
"I thought it was about free agency stuff. I said hello, and the voice on the other end said I hope you weren't on the phone making free agency deals. I didn't know it was Coach Tomlin because I never spoke to him. I was like Coach, I am not going to lie to you, I am. He said, well you don't have to worry about that. This is Mike Tomlin from the Steelers and we are going to pick you here. I was like, what. I didn't realize the draft was that far behind. It was an ecstatic moment."
Harvin won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter in 2020, becoming the first African- American to win the award. Harvin led the nation and set Georgia Tech and Atlantic Coast Conference records with a 48.0-yard punting average last year.
Harvin is hoping to make an impact in the NFL and be an inspiration to other Black punters.
"I am not the stereotype size and race for a punter, but I do it with my ability," Harvin said. "Being the first African-American punter to win the Ray Guy Award, it's not just about my name on that trophy, it's about all of the punters who were before me, Greg Coleman, Reggie Roby, guys who paved the way for me to be in the same profession.
"If you have guys who put their heart and mind to something, they can do it."