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New Steelers Cornerback Reveals Uniform Number



Steelers CB Darius Rush
Steelers CB Darius Rush at practice, Oct. 18, 2023 - Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

New Steelers cornerback Darius Rush will wear No. 21 with Pittsburgh after signing with them from the Chiefs practice squad. Pittsburgh released veteran Desmond King to make room for Rush’s young, high-potential player, and they see him as a developmental piece.

No. 21 is a popular number for the Steelers in the secondary over its history. The last player to wear the number was Tre Norwood, who is now with the 49ers after Pittsburgh let him walk following an injury-laden preseason. All three rookie cornerbacks have a number in the 20s, with Joey Porter Jr. wearing No. 24 and Cory Trice donning No. 27.

In its history, multiple notable names have worn No. 21. Eric Williams, Amos Zereoue, Deon Figures, Mwelde Moore, Ricardo Cocolough, Sean Davis, Tony Dungy, and others highlight that list for the team. Joe Haden even wore the number for a short time in 2017.

Rush, 23, will be on his third NFL franchise as a pro in just a few months. The South Carolina alum was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. However, he did not last long there. 

The Colts waived Rush in their final round of cuts, and the Chiefs claimed him. Kansas City then waived him on Sept. 16 and added him to their practice squad.  The Steelers had a vacant roster spot after releasing veteran inside and outside cornerback King.

A 6-foot-2, 198-pound defensive back, Rush projects to play mainly on the outside for the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s backup nickel cornerback is likely Elijah Riley if Chandon Sullivan should suffer an injury. 

A South Carolina native, Rush played for his home state, Gamecocks, first as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback. He played in 43 games at South Carolina and made 21 starts. 

As a redshirt senior in 2022, he had 38 tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions and seven passes defended. In addition to playing on the outside, Rush has significant special teams experience, racking up 15 tackles at South Carolina as a gunner in his first three seasons there.