Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Troy Polamalu Reaches Out to Troy Fautanu after He’s Picked by Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Troy Polamalu reached out to Troy Fautanu after he was picked by the Steelers on Thursday.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu
Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft pick Troy Fautanu. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

When Troy Fautanu got picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was no secret that he grew up a Steelers fan and idolized Troy Polamalu. He even met Polamalu once during his USC official visit. But Polamalu is excited about Fautanu coming to the Steelers, too. Talking with WTAE, Polamalu praised the newest Steelers draft pick.

“Carries himself with humility and plays with a lot of passion and violence, so I think that’s one thing the Steelers are going to be excited about,” Polamalu said to WTAE. “I know it’s one thing that I’m excited about when I heard about this draft pick.”

Idolizing Polamalu from a young age, Fautanu always wore No. 43 before he was finally forced to switch positions. Both men share Polynesian ancestry, with Fautanu having Samoan and Tongan heritage and Polamalu having Samoan heritage.

“Man, it really couldn’t have gone any better,” Fautanu said. “I wore 43 pretty much my whole life until I switched to offensive line and couldn’t wear it. I know a lot about the team and a lot about their history.”

Those sentiments humble Polamalu, who never saw himself as the larger-than-life figure that young players like Fautanu see him as, but now that they are tied together, it makes it all the sweeter.

“Honestly, I’m very humbled by that; it’s really incredibly humbling,” Polamalu said.

Fautanu will again meet his idol at the Resilience Bowl, Polamalu’s charity flag football event. All Steelers rookies will participate in that, which will just be another bow on top of the entire experience for Fautanu. After he was drafted, Fautanu received a call from Polamalu himself, which made Fautanu call him back immediately, even if he did not pick up.

“He did reach out to my yesterday,” Fautanu said. “I lost my phone yesterday after the draft when they announced it, so the whole entire time, I was getting phone calls and text messages. So, I’m scrolling, and I see a caller ID that says Troy Polamalu, so I’m like, ‘Oh shoot, I got to call this guy back.’ So, I call him back later, he didn’t answer. I’m sure he was busy. He left a voice message, though.”

Washington cross-trained Fautanu in practice at every position. That includes right tackle, which could be his position if the Steelers kick Broderick Jones to the left side.

“I pretty much played every position in college. I played the left side mainly in games, but our coach did a really good job of cross-training us and making sure that we were ready for any opportunity that presented itself. Yeah, I’m comfortable anywhere, man. I’m just ready to contribute,” Fautanu said.

Many people in the pre-draft process thought that Fautanu could be a guard or even a center at the next level.

Fautanu does not have the typical height of an NFL tackle, which likely started the questions about whether he’d be able to stick at the position at the next level. Frequently, tackles with concerns about their length are required to move to guard in the NFL.