Blue White Illustrated

January 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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6 2 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M Through Pittsburgh's first 15 games, Freiermuth was tied for the team lead with seven receiving touchdowns. PHOTO COURTESY PITTSBURGH STEELERS N ow in the late stages of his rookie season, Steelers tight end Pat Frei- ermuth isn't merely a promising young talent in the Steel City. He's an integral part of the Pittsburgh offense. Freiermuth's seven receiving touch- downs tie him for the team lead through 16 weeks of NFL action and rank fifth among NFL tight ends. He isn't Pittsburgh's first option in the passing game, sitting fourth on the team in targets. But he certainly makes the most of what comes his way. Freiermuth sits ninth among NFL wide receivers and tight ends in catch rate, coming down with the ball on 76.6 percent of his targets as a rookie. He credits his efficiency as a pass catcher to a mindset that he's abided by since his days at Penn State. "I think it's the [desire] to go get the ball," Freiermuth told the Pittsburgh media of his success making contested catches. "The mentality that I've had since college, and now my tight ends coach [Alfredo Robert], I think he's done a great job with making us every single day have those contested-catch drills and just building our confidence in that element of the game. "Credit to him, credit to the rest of the guys, and [quarterback] Ben [Roeth- lisberger], obviously, just throwing it up there and making sure that I'm going to come down with it." FORMER NITTANY LIONS ON NFL ROSTERS As of Dec. 28 Marcus Allen (Played at Penn State 2014-17), LB, Pittsburgh Steelers: A regular special teams contributor for Pittsburgh, Allen had started to earn some snaps on defense as the season went on but did not play in Week 16 af- ter he was placed on the COVID-19 list. He has played 14 games on the season and made four tackles. Adrian Amos (2011-14), S, Green Bay Packers: Amos is up to 84 tackles for the season. He made five solo stops while playing every snap for the Pack- ers on defense for the 14th consecutive week in a Christmas Day win over the Browns. Troy Apke (2014-17), S, Washing- ton Football Team: Apke has played exclusively on special teams during the 2021 season. Saquon Barkley (2015-17), RB, New York Giants: Since returning from injury in Week 11, it's been a mixed bag for the former Nittany Lion tail- back. Through 11 games of action, he has 431 rushing yards and 244 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Bates (2015-18), OL, Buffalo Bills: Bates earned his second start of the season, playing left guard for the Bills in their win over New England and played a career-high 79 snaps. Nick Bowers (2015-19), TE, Las Vegas Raiders: Bowers has appeared Pat Freiermuth Continues To Find End Zone For Steelers DAV I D E C K E RT | DAV I D E C K E R T 9 8 @ G M A I L . C O M PSU IN THE PROS

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