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Frazier back to starting from square 1 as his pro career gets underway with Pittsburgh

Jun. 1—MORGANTOWN — After a lifetime of waiting to fulfill a dream, what's two more weeks ?

A lot, it turns out, as former WVU center Zach Frazier learned last month.

After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft on April 26, Frazier had to wait until May 10 to get his professional career underway at the team's rookie minicamp.

"I'm just so excited to finally be out here, " Frazier said in the Steelers' practice facility last month. "I was tired of waiting that week or whatever it was. I'm just ready to get to work."

So how did it finally feel for Frazier to get started with his new team ?

"It is surreal, it's an unbelievable feeling, " Frazier said. "It doesn't feel real almost."

Frazier has been talked about as a day-one starter since being selected by the Steelers, who released starting center Mason Cole this offseason. At this point, however, the Fairmont native is content just starting from square one.

"I'm just trying to study the playbook, get all the plays down and get all the calls down, " Frazier said. "Just really trying to absorb as much information as I can and learn as much as I can."

That wouldn't be a bad approach for Pittsburgh's entire offensive line this offseason as, in addition to Frazier, the Steelers drafted tackle Troy Fautanu in the first round in April. They also have 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones, 2021 draft pick Dan Moore Jr. and 26-year-old James Daniels. The old man of the group is 30-year-old Isaac Seumalo, who only just joined the Steelers last season.

For a group that hasn't really played together, Frazier thinks getting close with one another is the best thing they can do this offseason.

"I think it's just developing relationships on and off the field, " Frazier said. "The closer you are as a unit, the better you play together. And obviously, the more reps you get together on the field, that's how you get better as well."

Typically, it falls to the center to be the leader of the line and keep everyone on the same page. That may very well be the role Frazier ends up with for Pittsburgh, but he's not worrying about that just yet.

"I think it's my job to take care of myself first and make sure all my ducks are in a row before I start leading others, " he said.

Of course, it wouldn't be totally unheard of for Frazier to join a team and immediately become a leader. If not vocally, then at least by example.

"(Frazier) completely changed our program with his work ethic, " WVU coach Neal Brown said during a radio interview on Heartland College Sports this week. "I thought he was the best interior offensive lineman in college football and I think he's got a long, bright future ahead of him in the NFL."

Frazier and the Steelers are now in the midst of their OTAs (organized team activities), which will conclude this Thursday. Then the team's mandatory three-day minicamp will kick off on June 11.