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Nashville Visit "Amazing" for Pittsburgh's Smith-Schuster



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster is already a popular man in Pittsburgh, for a number of reasons.

Not only is the rookie off to a great start on the field, he also won the hearts of Steelers fans with the story about his beloved bicycle – it was stolen, and later found. When fans found out the bike was Smith-Schuster's means of transportation, he became a big hit. (He finally got a driver's license last week).

Well, let me tell you about Smith-Schuster's trip to Nashville during his predraft visit with the Titans.

Sounds like he also would've fit in pretty well in Tennessee.

Smith-Schuster, the NFL's youngest player at age 20, arrived in town in April.

"So I went to a barbeque spot," he said. "I went to Edley's. It was really good. Then I walked over to Nissan Stadium to see where the Titans play, that was cool. Then I started walking around downtown to check out the city and I heard there was as big game in town."

The big game: Predators vs. Blackhawks, in the NHL playoffs.

"I just took a risk and said, 'Why not?,''' said Smith-Schuster, who's from Long Beach, California. "So I bought a ticket for $150 off the street, and I went to the game. It started at 8:30, and didn't finish until 1 o'clock in the morning. It went to overtime. Man, it was fun. It was my first time to a hockey game, and the environment was awesome.

"I was cheering for the home team, the Predators. They had all of these LED lights, shirts for us. I bought a couple of hots dogs, peanuts, a drink. I was living the experience. The fan base was amazing.

"This city, man it's awesome. Besides it being hot and humid, the people are awesome and nice. This city is amazing."

Smith-Schuster made his comments during an interview with Titans Online on his predraft visit to Saint Thomas Sports Park. He ended up being drafted by the Steelers in the second round, after the Titans had selected Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick, and cornerback Adoree' Jackson, Smith-Schuster's teammate at USC, 18th overall.

Smith said his overnight visit to meet the Titans was a good one.

It turns out Smith-Schuster, who has 29 catches for 521 yards and five touchdowns on the season, is also a big fan of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.

"I know he is Polynesian," Smith-Schuster said of Mariota. "I am half Samoan, so I know where he comes from and how he is. I think he is a great guy, and a great player.

"Everybody is a big Marcus fan, definitely on the Polynesian side. He represents very well, on and off the field."

The Titans will face Smith-Schuster and the Steelers on Thursday Night Football at Heinz Field.

Titans Online looks back at the all-time series between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers. (AP Photos)

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