YSU’s Elkins to Steelers: Youngstown State center Chris Elkins will join the Steelers as a priority free agent. The Beaver Falls, Pa., native grew up 30 minutes from Pittsburgh, although he actually grew up rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “All my friends and family are Steelers fans, so I think this makes it a little more special for them,” he said. Elkins performed well in front of a Steelers scout at YSU’s pro day, but said he hadn’t heard from the team since then. “With about 15 picks left [in Saturday’s seventh round], their offensive line coach called me and talked my ear off for five or 10 minutes,” Elkins said. “Once I got off the phone, I watched the rest of the draft and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Then with two picks left, the scout from the Steelers called and wanted me to commit right there and then.” Elkins told him he had to talk to his agent first, “so from that point there was a huge triangle of phone calls between my agent, me and the scout.” Elkins heard from several teams leading up to the draft, “but every team that was really interested in me had taken a center [this weekend].” When asked how he was feeling an hour later, he said, “I’m actually just trying to settle down. It’s been so rapid-fire since it happened. I’m just going to go work my tail off and try to stick around.” Is he going to do anything to celebrate? “Not really,” he said. “I’m thinking I’ll get some Chinese food and watch the [Miami] Heat game.”
Howland’s Scott to Vikings: Howland High graduate Tyler Scott, a defensive end from Northwestern, will sign as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, according to several outlets. He was the only Mahoning Valley player to earn a free agent contract on Saturday. Scott did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Still waiting: Elkins was the only YSU player to sign with a team on Saturday, although three others — OT Kyle Bryant, QB Kurt Hess and punter Nick Liste (Niles) — could still get tryouts. Three YSU players signed as undrafted free agents after last year’s draft, including OL Lamar Mady, who spent 15 weeks on the Raiders’ active roster, appearing in seven games. RB Jamaine Cook spent the last 10 weeks on the Browns’ practice squad and TE Will Shaw earned camp invites with the Steelers and Eagles. YSU has not had a player drafted since Harry Deligianis in 1998.
FCS success: The FCS saw 19 players drafted, including three from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. North Dakota State OT Billy Turner was a third-round pick by the Dolphins, Illinois State DT Shelby Harris went to the Raiders in the seventh round and South Dakota LB Tyler Starr got picked by the Falcons in the seventh round.