It took a couple weeks, but finally, one of the former West Virginia University Mountaineers defensive stars was signed by an NFL franchise. WVU’s former star at safety and outside linebacker Terence Garvin signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
Garvin received a mini camp invite from the Steelers a few weeks back. Coach Tomblin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau must have been impressed with Garvin’s quickness and agility. While Garvin is not the biggest outside linebacker (6’3″ 223 lbs) he is one of the more athletic linebackers and a potential star on special teams for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is in desperate need of linebacker depth with the departure of former NFL Defensive MVP James Harrison and the serious injury to Sean Spence. Current reserve linebackers Sylvester Stevenson and Jason Worilds have underwhelmed in recent seasons as well.
The Steelers sought to shore up their linebacker deficiencies by drafting Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones and Florida State ILB Vince Williams. Garvin figures to fill in as the primary back-up to Lamar Woodley at one OLB position while Jones and Worilds fill in the opposite OLB position heading into fall training camp.
Garvin will need to demonstrate a knack for making big hits in kick coverage to find a home in Pittsburgh. Should he make the 53-man roster this fall, he will have the opportunity to be groomed by one of the most-talented defensive coordinators in all of football, Dick LeBeau.
Garvin should model his work ethic after that of James Harrison, a man who had to fight his way from the Pittsburgh practice squad to the special teams coverage before becoming a pro bowl linebacker in the Steelers blitz-happy defense.
Terence Garvin is now the third former West Virginia Mountaineer to sign as an undrafted free agent this season, joining WR JD Woods and C Joe Madsen. The Pittsburgh Steelers also employ former Mountaineers FB Will Johnson.