The Pittsburgh Steelers have invited Kiski School alum and former Lamar and Lehigh defensive back Divine Buckrham to their rookie minicamp this weekend, Lamar University announced.
Buckrham is a 6-foot, 193-pound defensive back from Queens, New York but attended The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pa., where he was a two-year varsity captain and also wrestled and ran track.
Buckrham played both sides of the ball at Kiski, but focused on defense when he got to Lehigh in 2017. He took over as the starter at the rover position late in his freshman season and then moved to safety in 2019. In total, he played 34 games at Lehigh and made 95 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, recovered one fumble and defended three passes.
For the 2021 season, Buckrham transferred to Lamar in Beaumont, Texas. He played in all 11 games for the Cardinals and finished with 52 tackles, one tackle for a loss, eight passes defended and one interception, coming against Top 10 foe Sam Houston State.
Buckrham told the Enterprise that he had agreed to sign with a professional team in Germany after not getting drafted, but changed his plans after a call from the Steelers.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited for the challenge,” Buckrham said to Matt Faye of the Beaumont Enterprise. “At first I couldn’t believe it, but I’m focused and ready to go compete.”
Buckrham will join Robert Morris cornerback Tavin Harvell, Waterloo (Ontario) defensive back Tyrell Ford, South Carolina cornerback Carlins Platel and Marshall safety Cory McCoy as tryouts in the team’s secondary this weekend.
The Steelers did not draft a defensive back with any of their seven selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, instead choosing to bring in undrafted free agents Chris Steele and Bryce Watts in addition to the rookie camp tryouts.
The team was active in the secondary during free agency. The Steelers brought in outside free agents Avery Wallace and Damontae Kazee, while re-signing Akhello Witherspoon, Terrell Edmunds, Arthur Maulet, Miles Killbrew and Karl Joseph.
The Steelers waived injured cornerback Isaiah Johnson on Tuesday, reducing the number of players at the position on the roster by one. The team’s 90-man roster is presently full, so for any rookie minicamp tryout to earn a contract, a player will have to be released from the roster.
Last year, the Steelers invited just five tryouts to rookie camp because of the league’s COVID-19 rules. None were offered contracts. Teams did not hold rookie camps in 2020. The team’s rookie minicamp starts Friday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side and is scheduled to run for two days.