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Chris Oladokun Has Steelers Ties, And Believes His Opportunity is Real

The Pittsburgh Steelers seventh-round pick already has connections here, and feels his time is coming.

PITTSBURGH -- Chris Oladokun already has a Pittsburgh Steelers connection as he begins his battle to win a roster spot this summer. Before his time at South Dakota State, he played behind a former Steelers starter, who turned a slim chances into a memorable run during his time in Pittsburgh. 

That connection comes with Devlin 'Duck' Hodges. Oladokun, who the Steelers selected with their seventh-round pick, was Hodges' backup at Samford prior to transferring to South Dakota State, but the connection between the two never left. 

"Duck, that's my guy," Oladokun said. "Pittsburgh legend."

Hodges called Oladokun after being drafted and said to be prepared for some incredible fans, and to make sure he takes advantage of the opportunity. 

"I'll love the fans, they really embrace football," Oladokun said on his advice from Hodges. "I'll have a blast and really just put my head down and work."

And getting to work, and trying to make his first NFL roster, is exactly what he plans to do. 

"I don't think you're on this field if you don't belong," Oladokun said. "That's something I've been telling myself even before I got into the NFL, that I do belong in the NFL. I feel comfortable out here with all the guys. I'm just really excited to keep learning and growing as a complete player."

With that work, the rookie quarterback believes opportunity will come. Much like it did for his former college teammate. 

"That's the dream right there. Getting to play big time football at the highest level," Oladokun said. "[Hoges] played some on some big time Sunday night, Monday night games, and he excelled. I'm just going to wait my time and be prepared for when my opportunity comes. I believe everyone does get an opportunity, it's just about what you do with it comes."

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Oladokun will compete with fellow rookie Kenny Pickett, and veterans Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for one of three roster spots this season. On the outside, the expectation isn't for him to be named a starter in his first season, but he does intend to grow - and help his fellow teammates as much as he can.

"I'm just ready to get into the room and embrace my role to not only make myself better, but make the room better as well," Oladokun said. 

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