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Troy Fautanu Will Wear No. 76 with Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu
Steelers first-round pick offensive tackle Troy Fautanu during his introductory press conference on April 27, 2024. -- Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Friday that first-round pick Troy Fautanu out of Washington will wear No. 76 with the club. Fautanu wore No. 55 with the Washington Huskies, but Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb reps that number, so he had to settle for No. 76.

Fautanu said during his introductory press conference that he would wear whatever number was handed out to him by the team.

“I’m kind of just wearing whatever number these guys decide to give me. I wore the same number by whole life, but it’s really not up to me. I’m just excited for the opportunity,” Fautanu said.

The last Steelers player to wear No. 76 was Chuks Okorafor, who departed to the New England Patriots this offseason. Gene Lipscomb, John Banaszak, Kevin Henry, Chris Hoke and Mike Adams are some other notable Steelers players who have worn No. 76.

An athletic freak, Fautanu played most of his career at Washington at left tackle, except for a few games when he kicked inside to left guard due to injuries. For the Steelers, their mentality up front is creating a dominant run game that will allow them to buoy a limited passing attack. But in order to do that in Arthur Smith’s wide zone scheme, they need athletic players who can move in space, and nastiness from those up front. And Fautanu sees only one way that a player can work on the offensive line — nastiness.

“There’s only one way you’ve got to play o-line, man,” Fautanu said. “And that’s just nasty. I feel like every Saturday or just every day you practice being violent with your hands and just trying to be explosive off the ball and just trying to, you know, put your will and the other guy. You’ve got to dominate. You’ve got to finish guys.”

Troy Fautanu is an excellent prospect and quite pro-ready, which is a plus given that he will be 24 in his rookie season. The knee injury aside Fautanu would fit well in the Steelers scheme, and if he does not work out at tackle in his rookie season, the team could kick him inside for years to come.