Snapshot: Ross Scheuerman

Patriot League star running back hoping to make the numbers count with the Steelers.

Ross Scheuerman's resume tells his story with numbers.

Check out his bio from Lafayette College. There are numbers, numbers everywhere:

* A four-time All-Patriot League selection.

* Third on Lafayette's rushing list with 3,504 rushing yards.

* Caught 129 career passes for 1,129 yards.

* Returned 72 kickoffs for 1,645 yards (22.8 avg.).

* In his final collegiate game, rushed 45 times for a Patriot League-record 304 yards.

Those were the numbers that attracted the Pittsburgh Steelers after last month's draft.

Scheuerman, in turn, was attracted to the Steelers by these numbers:

* Two experienced running backs -- Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams -- ready for the bulk of the carries.

* And two inexperienced running backs -- Dri Archer and Josh Harris -- fighting for what looks to be a wide-open third spot.

So Scheuerman, who was deciding between the Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles after the draft, signed with the Steelers.

"I just figured depth chart-wise they had the best opportunity for me. That was my thought process," said Scheuerman, a 5-11 7/8, 204-pounder who grew up in the central New Jersey town of Creamridge.

Scheurman was a scholar and two-sport star at Allenwood High School, where he was a three-time team MVP in football and a district wrestling champ. As a football player, Scheuerman -- pronounced Sherman -- was a free safety and running back, and he was recruited as a running back by Lafayette in nearby Easton, Pa.

Why running back?

"The guy who recruited me didn't let the defensive coordinator see my defensive tape," Scheuerman said. "And I wanted to play offense anyway."

He chose Lafayette over another Patriot League school and was out of the starting lineup for only one game.

"I didn't start the opener, but towards the end (of the first game) I got a bunch of carries. Ever since then I was in the action every game," he said.

And he was a part of all the action.

As the above numbers indicated, Scheuerman is versatile. He returned kickoffs, caught passes, ran inside and outside, and even blocked. He told a reporter that he takes great pride in his blocking. He also completed his only career pass.

"I just tried to be as versatile as I could for the team and they tried to get the ball in my hands any way possible," he said. "I was able to stay healthy, which was huge. That really helped me throughout my career."

Scheuerman, who grew up a Curtis Martin and New York Jets fan, capped off his career in spectacular fashion in the most-played football rivalry game in the nation. In the 150th meeting with Lehigh, Lafayette gave the ball to Scheuerman 45 times. He returned the favor with a league-record 304 rushing yards in leading Lehigh to a 27-7 win in front of nearly 50,000 fans at Yankee Stadium. Here's what sportswriter Brad Wilson reported in Lehigh Valley Live:

"Scheuerman, who had 209 yards at halftime, was such an obvious choice of the game's Most Valuable Player award that Lafayette's sports information office didn't even bother to collect the ballots. It would have been like asking people to vote on whether Babe Ruth should be in the Hall of Fame."

It was the first 300-yard rushing game in Lafayette's 133 years of football but it didn't help Scheuerman get drafted. He was invited to the Combine, and ran a 4.62 40 with 15 bench reps, a 33-inch vertical jump and agility times of 4.11 in the short shuttle and 7.08 in the 3-cone drill. But no one bit through seven rounds.

Was he disappointed?

"I tried not to get my hopes up," he said. "Either way I was going to be happy to be on any team. It's a dream come true for me, especially coming from a smaller school. Any opportunity was going to make me happy."

Scheuerman checked out the Steelers' thin depth chart and signed with a team that has a history of choosing the most deserving players for its 53-man roster. But Scheuerman's now going to have to watch the numbers, something he forced everyone else to do throughout his college career.

"I try not to really think about those things," he said of the depth chart. "As long as I stay focused every day and just go to work and stay on the grind I'll be all right."

Of the Steelers' rookie minicamp two weekends back, Scheuerman said, "I think I picked it up pretty quickly. I didn't find it too difficult to pick up. Some of the stuff is similar to what I did in college, so that was good. But there's still a learning curve."

The Steelers threw 83 passes to Bell last season, and Scheuerman says the key to catching passes as a back is "understanding the concepts with the other receivers, what they're doing on the field. And then just having the ball skills."

Is the Lafayette product ready to compete?

"Yeah," he said. "I have a general understanding of the offense and feel comfortable heading into OTAs."

OTAs begin Tuesday and continue for three weeks. The team will holds its mandatory minicamp through a fourth week before breaking for the summer.

Steel City Insider Top Stories