MARQUETTE — Throughout his life, Marcus Tucker was told he was too small to play football. He disagreed with that assessment because he knew he could play with the best, and the Northern Michigan football team agreed with him.
“Handled himself first–class the whole time he was here. It couldn’t happen to a better kid and he’s a heck of a football player. I think the Steelers got a steal. He’s going to be a great player. He’s going to make that team. I was thrilled when I heard,” Northern Michigan head coach Chris Ostrowsky said.
Tucker is now taking his talents from the Superior Dome to Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have signed the Flint–native to the 90–man roster. Tucker said he found out the news when he asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to wish his mom a Happy Mothers Day.
“And he takes the phone and he says, “Hey this is Mike Tomlin from the Pittsburgh Steelers. I just want to let you know that you raised a great kid and Happy Mothers Day. We want to give your son an opportunity to make this football team so we’re going to sign him.” And so me and my mother actually found out at the same time. So in the meantime of me trying to make my mom’s Mothers Day, I ended up making my day all at the same time so it was beautiful,” Tucker said.
Tucker had a breakout senior year last season, leading the Wildcats in receptions, receiving touchdowns and ranked second in receiving yards. Coach Ostrowsky talked about what he saw in Tucker from day one.
“I sat in this office when I first really pursued the thought of him really joining the program and becoming a student here. His personality was such where you felt that he was just winner. And it’s hard to put your finger on it and explain it. But looking at him, I felt like that was a guy that I wanted to build a program around,” Ostrowsky said.
The Steelers have a long track record of excellence at the wide receiver position with players like Lynn Swann, Hines Ward and Antonio Brown. And Tucker says the fact that Pittsburgh invited him to stay with the team shows that they see something in him that they saw in those players.
“Ultimately I’m going to come in here and be a blue–collar guy because that’s what all of those guys were that came before me. And that’s why all of those guys are Hall of Famers and great players and consistent players in the NFL because they work. It’s just amazing to even have my name listed with those type of caliber guys. It’s really a dream come true,” said Tucker.
Next on the schedule for Tucker is the rookie symposium that will take place the week of June 19th but in the meantime, he will definitely make the most of this once–in–a–lifetime opportunity.