Making the Grade - Part II

In part two of our exclusive with WVU alum Mike Logan, the former Mountaineer star talks about keeping in touch with his alma mater.

Missed Part I? Read it here now!

Mike Logan hasn't lacked in confidence since his youth football days, because it was there that he began to get interest at the next levels. Logan's final season at McKeesport High School garnered the interest of numerous scouts, but he chose West Virginia University not too far from home.

"I still try to follow the program as much as possible, but it's going to be different this year after losing all those great rivalries with Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech," Logan said. "I guess will just have to start new ones with Louisville, Connecticut, Cincinnati and some of the other teams.

"And we still have Pitt and Syracuse, so we'll see what happens. And I'll always follow the Big East. I try to keep up on the scores, but it's pretty tough in my house because I have three little kids now. They're seven, five and three next month, so I watch the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon all the time.

"On Saturday mornings when I'm home," Logan continued, "it's tough to watch college football. Each room that I go into that has a TV, they seem to find me and change the channel, but that's all part of it. I enjoy spending time with my family, as much as possible, but this is fun, too."

Logan's wife, Nicole, and the three little ones are his biggest fans, and they took up a good deal of this past year while he was recovering from the hamstring problem. The family time put a crimp in his plans to return to WVU, but Logan wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world.

"I didn't get back this year because I did a lot of traveling," Logan said. "When you have that time off, you really get to see the things that you miss out on in life when you can't spend time with your family. So, being able to spend that time with them and just get a feel for what goes on when you're normally working was something new for me.

Logan's Run
Mike Logan's spot in the Steelers' lineup isn't assured by any means, but he certainly is among the favorites.

Logan is a veteran that the coaches love as much as his teammates, the media and fans alike. The only question has been his durability. Logan seems to have been injured nearly as much as he has played in the NFL.

So, unless he gets injured during training camp, Logan should have no problems. He shouldn't just make the team, but he should get considerable playing time as well when the regular season begins.

And I'll also go so far as to say that Logan will have an excellent season and be invited back next year to fulfill the final season on his contract.

- Dale Grdnic

"I really missed that, and I took time to go on a lot of family trips. But I usually try to get back to West Virginia to see some of the guys and just see how the campus has changed and stay involved with the program. It really has changed a lot since I went there, but it's going in the right direction."

Logan enjoys talking about the Mountaineers program, and he was able to reminisce with Major Harris. The former WVU quarterback is older than Logan, and he led the Mountaineers to an undefeated regular season and title-game tilt against Notre Dame. The team hasn't had quite that level of success since then, but Logan believes current Coach Rich Rodriguez has it going in the right direction. "With Coach Rodriguez running the program now, I came in with Coach Nehlen, it's a lot different," Logan said. "Don was kind of an old-school guy and kind of laid back, but Coach Rodriguez approaches things a little differently. I don't know him that well, but he's been very positive because they've had some success in recent years.

"It's been a little tough for me just having the University of Pittsburgh next door (sharing a training complex), they're my neighbors and I have to see them every day. But that Backyard Brawl is still brewing, and it's still something that's very significant to me. I played in it enough to know that it's a big rivalry, and I don't think that will ever change."

Logan will always be a WVU fan, and he'll always hold his hometown NFL team close to his heart -- even if his career doesn't end with the Steelers. In fact, Logan said the past four seasons with them has been the best part of his career after West Virginia.

"It's truly been a blessing," Logan said. "I don't want it to end, obviously, but if my career came to an end right now ... I've been very fortunate. It's really been all positive, but the injuries have played into it a little bit. You want to go out and perform for your family, friends, the team and the fans, and I wasn't able to do that last season.

"But I don't take anything for granted. This has been a very positive situation for me, and that's what I say to the kids when I speak to them. I know I'm fortunate just to be in this position, and it's why I'm here with a positive attitude this year. So, I'm very happy with everything right now, and I'm looking forward to another season with my hometown team."

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