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Zach Frazier Was Named After Legendary Dolphins Linebacker Zach Thomas

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Pittsburgh Steelers Zach Frazier

Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-round selection Zach Frazier will wear No. 54 with the Steelers, according to NFL Jersey Numbers. Frazier donned No. 54 during his four years as a West Virginia Mountaineer, so it’s not surprising that he stuck with that number. Linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2023 was the last Steeler to rep No. 54.

During a recent interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com, Zach Frazier revealed why he wears No. 54.
According to Frazier, his dad is from Florida and was a big Miami Dolphins fan, so he named him after legendary linebacker Zach Thomas. Thomas, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023, wore No. 54 throughout his 13-year NFL career. Frazier was born in 2001, which was right in the midst of when Thomas was in his prime.

“So my dad (is) originally from Florida and they were Dolphins fans, so my dad named me after Zach Thomas, who wore No. 54. Just got inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s always been special to me, I’ve worn No. 54 since pee wee’s.”

Marv Kellum, Craig Bingham, Hardy Nickerson, Mike Schneck and L.J. Fort are some notable past Steelers players to have worn No. 54.

Frazier’s No. 54 is the same range as Mike Webster’s (No. 52) and Maurkice Pouncey’s (No. 53). The Steelers are hoping that Frazier can become the next great Steelers center. Webster and Dermontti Dawson are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Pouncey could have a bust someday, as well.

Frazier is expected to be a plug-and-play Day 1 starter on the Steelers’ offensive line.

Frazier plays with a polished style that makes him a plug-and-play option. While not an elite athlete, he is solid across the board and can work in Arthur Smith’s wide zone scheme. In addition, he allows the team to have far more versatility in the run game process, continuing the gap scheme progress a year ago under interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner. Given Faulkner and offensive line coach Pat Meyer are back, there might be a move toward making this scheme more versatile rather than sticking to the mid and wide zone that Smith has been accustomed to in his fabric.