Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is continuing the gifting trend, as the latest Pittsburgh player to give their family a life-changing surprise.
Smith-Schuster shared a video to his YouTube channel Monday night, chronicling the lead up and eventual reveal that he had purchased his family a new house.
This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and a dream come true! I’ve wanted to do this for so long, finally being able to do this is just unbelievable to me. Check out the video! ➡️ https://t.co/7sNIZ1J5S0 pic.twitter.com/qysVCWgUhn— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) July 6, 2020
“Now that I’m able to live my dream and play in the NFL, I think it’s everyone’s dream to take care of their family at some point in their life, especially when it’s their parents,” he said. “For me, myself, I’m buying my mom and dad a house. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.”
The 23-year-old has been vocal in the past about the adversity he faced growing up one of 23 children in Southern California, including not sleeping in a bed of his own until he arrived at USC. Smith-Schuster’s experiences as a kid were some of the main motivating factors behind his selfless act.
In the vlog, Smith-Schuster documents his trip home to California for the ultimate reveal. While his parents were privy to the whole setup, his siblings were unaware, believing they were visiting Smith-Schuster’s Airbnb for a day at the pool. He originally told his mother over FaceTime months earlier, also included in the video.
Instead of a pool party, his siblings were surprised with their new six-bedroom, five-home in Yorba Linda, California. Upon learning the incredible news, they raced around the house picking rooms and brainstorming design ideas.
Smith-Schuster’s big announcement comes just a day after teammate James Conner surprised his mother with a new house, sharing her reaction on social media as well.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal with the Steelers, the fully-healthy Smith-Schuster is looking to have a big season in 2020.
Steelers One of Three Teams with No Opt-Outs
With the expiration of today’s 4 p.m. deadline, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of just three teams to have no players opt-out of the 2020 season, along with the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers.
Speaking with the media Thursday morning, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expressed his confidence that none of his players would be choosing to sit this year out. Evidently, he was right.
Pittsburgh currently has three players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in running back Jaylen Samuels, wide receiver James Washington and cornerback Justin Layne. It is unknown whether they have actually tested positive for the virus, or are simply on the list as a precaution because of potential exposure.
66 players across the league have opted out of the 2020 season thus far, the majority of them offensive linemen. The New England Patriots have been hit hardest by opt-outs, losing eight players, including starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
The Cleveland Browns have had the most among AFC North teams at five, with four of the opt-outs coming from offensive linemen.
Players that opt-out because of medical concerns are entitled to a $350,000 stipend, while those that voluntarily choose to forego the 2020 season will receive a $150,000 salary advance, expected to be paid back next year.
While the Steelers did dodge a bullet by having no opt-outs, Tomlin did express doubts that the NFL season will be able to go off safely and without a hitch.
“I don’t know that I’m extremely confident,” he told the media Thursday. “I respect the challenges that the circumstances have presented to the other leagues, some of which we are witnessing. We’re all proceeding with caution and working extremely hard not to become part of that.”
Mike Tomlin: No Steeler Opting Out, Not Confident in Safe Season
Mike Tomlin spoke with members of the media, including Mike Asti of Steelers Now, to discuss how his team is preparing for the season in the midst of COVID-19.
Tomlin mentioned no Steelers player is planning to opt out, but that he also can’t say he’s confident the NFL will be able to get through a safe 2020 season.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 8/5/20
Lineman work on drills and receivers, including Chase Claypool, practice running routes during Steelers practice at Heinz Field on August 5, 2020.