The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping Tuzar Skipper could be another James Harrison.
Like Harrison, Skipper is a sack artist the Steelers unearthed as a UDFA out of the Mid-American Conference.
While Skipper has a long way to go to catch Harrison’s career 84.5 sacks and 34 forced fumbles in the NFL, he did rack up a team-best five sacks for the black and yellow this preseason.
And like Harrison, he has now been both released and re-signed by the Steelers (that actually happened to Harrison three separate times before he developed into a steel city star).
Skipper initially made Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster coming out of camp, but was waived shortly prior to their first regular-season game.
The New York Giants proceeded to poach him off waivers, and he totaled 3 tackles and a half sack over his six games on their active roster. He was moved to their practice squad in late October, and the Steelers snatched him back to their own active roster on November 19th.
“Happy, happy, happy,” Skipper told reporters after his first practice back in Pittsburgh.
“You don’t understand, my cheek muscles aren’t strong enough to keep the smile off my face.”
A defensive end out of the University of Toledo, Skipper racked up 60 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss en route to third-team All-MAC honors last season. During the pre-draft process, he posted some numbers that assuredly caught the attention of NFL personnel.
While preparing for his Pro Day at TEST Football Academy, Skipper began supplementing with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine, a ritual he continues to this day. CarnoSyn® delivers a high-quality form of beta-alanine, a naturally occurring beta amino acid that’s essential for the synthesis of muscle carnosine. The more efficiently you synthesize muscle carnosine, the longer your body can delay the onset of muscle fatigue and muscle failure.
In spite of Skipper’s high metabolism, the intense training routine supported by CarnoSyn® beta-alanine helped him pack on twelve pounds of lean muscle.
He also saw significant enhancements in his speed, strength and explosiveness. At UT’s Pro Day in March, Skipper put up an astonishing 30 reps on the Bench Press—a total which would’ve ranked second among all edge defenders at the 2019 NFL Combine. He supplemented that spectacular feat of strength with a 10-foot-7 Broad Jump.
You can also expect him to be among the hardest workers in the building.
“The dog mentality is basically never letting someone outwork you,” says Skipper. “You are always outworking the next man in front of you, even your teammates. It’s the first one in the weight room and the last one out. First one on the field, last one-off type of thing.”
Photo Credit: Toledo Athletics