On Thursday the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of undrafted free agent linebacker Calvin Bundage. The Oklahoma State product was originally inked by Kevin Colbert & Co. shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft, earning a $7,500 signing bonus in the process. But he was released two days ago to make room on the roster for unrestricted free agent edge rusher Melvin Ingram III.
Calvin Bundage: 2017 Barry Sanders Award Winner
Now he hopes to duplicate some of the pass rushing success he demonstrated at OSU, where as a sophomore he won the 2017 Barry Sanders award—an award given to the OSU player who provides the greatest contribution to the team with the least recognition. That season he played in every game, recording 54 tackles (36 solo), as well as 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, two of which came at the expense of future No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
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After missing all of his junior season with a back injury, Bundage—who is 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds—went on to have his most impactful college season, recording 19 tackles, including a sack-safety of Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (pictured above). He also led the Cowboys with six sacks and seven quarterback hurries and was named honorable mention All-Big 12 by the conference’s coaches. As a senior, he was also named First Team Academic All Big-12.
All in all, Bundage finished his career at Oklahoma State with 148 tackles (100 solo) in 46 games, with 11.5 sacks, 23 tackles for a loss, and 13 quarterback hurries.
The 23-year-old wore No. 1 while at Oklahoma State but will wear No. 33 for the Steelers.
More Jersey Number News
On Thursday Brooke Pryor of ESPN revealed that free agent acquisition Melvin Ingram will wear No. 8 for the Steelers after donning No. 54 for all of the nine seasons he played for the Chargers.
Pryor also reveals that fellow free agent acquisition Trai Turner will suit up with No. 51, which had been issued to rookie fourth-round pick Buddy Johnson.
Presumably that means Johnson will be switching to a different number himself, though no word yet on what that number will be.
Meanwhile, new offensive lineman Chaz Green—who was signed on Tuesday—will be sporting No. 74. Green, who played for the Indianapolis Colts last season, is expected to provide competition at tackle.
No Steelers on the PUP List
In a bit of good news, the Steelers opened training camp without anyone of the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Not everyone participated in the team’s first practice, though, including projected starting left guard Kevin Dotson. According to the aforementioned Pryor, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has indicated that Dotson “tweaked” something but should be back on the practice field in the not-too-distant future.
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