UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Steelers look for ballhawks in their secondary. One of those external additions this year came from the XFL in cornerback Luq Barcoo, who ran up the count of interceptions at San Diego State, so much so that he led the country in his senior season.
Barcoo nabbed a great interception on Tuesday, jumping in front of a pass attempted by Mason Rudolph. He is a former wide receiver, so those ball skills come in handy when switching to the defensive side of the football. Barcoo is a guy who has stood out in recent practices, making multiple pass breakups and earning some consistent reps, making the most out of those limited opportunities.
Back in OTAs, he put his name on the map with a pick-six. That is when Barcoo noted his mind for ball-hawking. The Steelers and Teryl Austin consistently emphasize ball searching and making plays on the football, and Barcoo is a match made in heaven for that style of play.
“It’s about understanding the game, coverages, alignments, and what’s coming for you,” Barcoo said. “There’s not much more to it than that. You can put yourself into good positions, go up and get the ball, and put yourself in good positions against the receiver.”
The cornerback room is already deep. So, Barcoo will have an uphill climb to make the roster no matter what happens. But if he can continue making plays on the football, there’s always the chance that Barcoo could be a sleeper that jumps up the board in the Steelers minds.
He has to compete with guys such as Isaiah Dunn, Madre Harper, and others for either a bottom-of-the-roster spot or a slot on the practice squad. Barcoo’s skills lend to the likelihood that he has a future with the Steelers in some capacity, and making plays in the preseason could lend itself to increased opportunity.