LATROBE, Pennsylvania -- Joey Porter Jr. is getting all the attention, but the Steelers' other rookie cornerback generated some buzz of his own during Saturday's training camp practice. Cory Trice Jr., a fifth-round pick out of Purdue, made two notable plays during Seven Shots, a seven-play drill pitting the offense against the defense from the two-yard-line.
With the defense protecting a 3-2 lead, Trice sealed the win for his unit when he broke up a pass intended for Cody White. Two plays later, Trice put an exclamation point on the defense's victory when he stopped wideout Gunner Olszewski from reaching the end zone on a short completion. Those are the type of plays Trice will need to keep making in order to ensure himself a spot on the team's initial 53-man roster.
It's hard not to notice Trice when he's on the football field. He's the team's biggest corner at 6-3 and 210 pounds. Known for his physicality, Trice also has a nose for the end zone. He recorded two pick-sixes at Purdue that included a back-breaking score during last year's win over rival Indiana.
Trice is part of a Steelers defensive backfield that has an interesting mix of young and veteran players. The group is led by two players who might one day be in the Hall of Fame in cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The unit also includes newcomers Keanu Neal and Duke Dawson and returning veterans Tre Norwood, Levi Wallace, Damontae Kazee, James Pierre, and Miles Killebrew.
CBS Sports caught up with Trice prior to Sunday afternoon's practice. He hit on a number of topics during that time that includes his reaction to being drafted by the Steelers, what it's like to cover Pittsburgh's talented receiving corps during practice, and his favorite athlete growing up and how he continues to impact him.
How's your first training camp in the NFL going?
CT: "It's going good. I'm learning a lot. Seeing a lot of new things and just trying to soak everything in."
Revisiting yesterday, your tackle on Gunner generated a lot of attention from your teammates as well as the fans. It was like you guys both forgot you weren't in pads.
CT: "Me and him were just trying to compete for the ball. It was a low ball, so was just diving, trying to make a play."
Along with being a good tackler, do you pride yourself on being a playmaker?
CT: "Oh yeah, definitely. I'm always trying to give the ball back to the offense, or sometimes scoring for them."
What was your journey to cornerback like? I'd imagine you played receiver first given your height.
CT: "I played wide receiver in high school. I came into college as a safety. I was really good in man coverage, so then I just made the switch my second year in camp and haven't looked back since."
You're part of a pretty diverse secondary group in that there's established veterans and young players in the room. What's the room been like so far?
CT: "It's been great. We've all got the same goal. We're all just trying to win and get better every day. Any questions I or anybody have, everybody's always open to answering them. All the older guys are just giving free game every day and just continuing to try to make the whole room better."
What has it been like to face the Steelers' wideouts in practice?
CT: "I love it. All those guys are good at what they're good at. Everyone's got different tools. I'm seeing everything. I love going against those guys and seeing different things."
Were you surprised when the Steelers drafted you?
CT: "A little bit. Actually I was, I was kind of surprised."
I'm sure it didn't long for you to notice the huge following the Steelers have.
CT: "The fans are great here. I love the fans. They come out every day. Even (Saturday), they stayed out in the rain. They're very supportive."
Who was your favorite NFL player growing up?
Who was your favorite NBA player?
CT: "Kobe. Kobe's the greatest of all-time."
What kind of impact did he have on you?
CT: "He works so hard, man. The way he led, his mentality. I take it everywhere I go."
What are your personal goals for your rookie season?
CT: "Right now, I'm really focused on going out there, executing all the plays, just learning everything. Taking it step-by-step right now, staying healthy, making the 53 and keep making plays."