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2024 NFL Draft

Joey Porter Jr.’s Cousin Shon Stephens Expects Pre-Draft Visit with Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers Shon Stepehns
Shon Stephens, West Liberty Athletics

Ferris State cornerback Shon Stephens, the cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr., anticipates having a pre-draft visit with the Steelers in the near future, he said during an appearance on Inside the Birds with Andrew DiCecco.

Stephens played at the Division II level with Ferris State and West Liberty. Twice during his college career, he was expected to transfer to a Power Five program, only to have the NCAA rule against his immediate eligibility.

Despite his small-school status, Stehpens continues to make a case for himself in this year’s draft, as he posted a 40-yard dash in the 4.3’s and repped 225 pounds 19 times on the bench press at Michigan State’s pro day Thursday, according to Justin Melo of The Draft Network.

Stephens was at Michigan State’s pro day to get more exposure from NFL teams, which is often the case for smaller school players. Per Melo, 29 of 32 NFL teams sent scouts to watch Stephens perform, and one of those teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers met with Stephens at the College Gridiron Showcase, sources told Nick Farbaugh of Steelers Now.

Stephens said that he and Porter expect to train together some this offseason.

“We always lift in the weight room,” Stephens said. “He has his own weight room in the house. We compete, Joey Porer Jr., my other cousin Jacob, my brothers, we all just compete in the weight room and push each other. Even Big Joey (Porter Sr.) comes in an he lifts. We’re all just real competitive.”

“Show stoppa !! 20 bench, 4.3 forty!! Tape go crazy! What else you need, League him!” Porter wrote on his Instagram Story about Stephens’ pro day performance.

In 11 games this past season, Stephens picked off eight passes while returning one for a touchdown. Stephens has had a whirlwind NCAA career. Partially, by the fact that he simply did not play from 2019 to 2021. Twice, he was supposed to transfer to the FBS level, both to Power 5 teams. First, it would have been to Penn State in 2021 as a walk-on. Then, this past portal season, it would have been to Purdue to play for Ryan Walters. Yet, the NCAA denied him immediate eligibility the first time and rejected his hardship waiver this time around.

The hardship waiver was based on Stephens staying behind to help his mother, who had fallen ill during the three years he did not play. At Penn State, his degree progress was not far enough along, either, but he graduated in 2022 from West Liberty. Hoping to gain the extra year of eligibility, Stephens hoped the NCAA would be more lenient on his situation, but they were not.

But the same thing has occurred at every stop — Stephens has balled out. Stephens was a first-team All-American at the Division II level with West Liberty, just outside Wheeling, West Virginia. It is all but certain that the Steelers have at least heard about Stephens, given their proximity to West Liberty. He put up eight interceptions a year ago and is firmly on the radar of the NFL as a result of his play this year as well.

The Steelers came to watch Stephens in 2022 while he was at West Liberty, and so there was already a level of familiarity. Now, with a meeting, pro day visit, a pre-draft visit and their love for bloodlines, Stephens could end up in Pittsburgh.

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Gregory Edgar
Gregory Edgar
April 3, 2024 10:30 pm

Sounds like a Steeler.