JuJu Mania: Smith-Schuster the Fan Favorite as Camp Opens

Steelers WR helps with gender reveal, signs a head, impresses

Josh Rowntree
July 26, 2019 - 6:16 pm

LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - Blue confetti flew into the air and a crowd cheered. At the center of it all, on a muggy, sun-drenched afternoon at Saint Vincent College, was third-year Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who helped a pregnant couple with their gender reveal.

He is not just a fan favorite in Latrobe. He is the fan favorite.

Every time he touches the ball, gets close to the crowd, or even looks in their general direction, screams of “JuJu” fill the air. 

“They asked me before practice and I thought that was pretty cool,” Smith-Schuster said. “They’re having a boy.”

But that was not even close to the most eccentric thing Simth-Schuster did at the first open practice on training camp.

“I signed this dude’s head today,” he said. “Bro, he had the Steelers logo tattooed on his head. And then he had a mohawk. He was like ‘will you sign my helmet’ and I was like ‘what helmet are you talking about?’ I signed his head! His actual head!

“I don’t think he’s taking a shower for the next week.”

Smith-Schuster said that, if the man converts the tattoo into a signature, he’ll buy him tickets to any game this season. A nice gift for a die-hard fan.

There is little doubt that the antics of Antonio Brown at the end of last season and into the offseason enhanced Smith-Schusters likability even more.

The fun-loving, goofy, but Uber-talented 22-year-old showed is soaking it all in, but appears to not be letting it go to his head.

“It’s always been there,” he said. “The fans, they’re just amazing and very supportive of every player on the team.”

Despite his flash, Smith-Schuster quietly entered training camp Thursday, when some players use the time to make grand entrances, like Antonio Brown’s helicopter arrival a year ago.

“Everybody made a big deal about coming in a certain way. I really couldn’t care less on how you come in. At the end of the day, how you come in, that’s just you personally. 

“For myself, I’m coming in to work. I don’t need all the paparazzi or the people taking pictures, saying ‘oh, JuJu came in this way, JuJu rode a bike, JuJu did that.’ No, JuJu came here to work. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.”

Most importantly, Smith-Schuster gave the fans something to cheer for. He twice made spectacular catches down the sidelines, beating each of the Steelers’ top two cornerbacks, Joe Haden and Steven Nelson.