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2024 NFL Draft

Another Porter? Steelers Meet with CB Shon Stephens, JPJ’s Cousin



Pittsburgh Steelers Shon Stepehns

The Pittsburgh Steelers met with Ferris State cornerback Shon Stephens at the College Gridiron Showcase, sources told Steelers Now. In 11 games this season, Stephens picked off eight passes while returning one for a touchdown. Stephens is not just a normal cornerback, though. He is the cousin of standout Steelers rookie Joey Porter Jr.

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.

Before the season, Stephens ran a confirmed 4.39 40-yard dash. And he has continued to put up impressive seasons, even if he did not get to do it at the FBS level. 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 and their love for bloodlines, Stephens could end up in Pittsburgh.