The Steelers drafted a state powerlifting champion in 1984
When the Steelers selected Terry Long, a guard from East Carolina in the fourth round of 1984, I was cautiously optimistic considering that he was listed at 5′ 11″ and 272 lbs., but what I did not know at the time was that Long was incredibly strong.
If you watched Long play, you know exactly what I am referring to. He was so strong and so impactful off the ball that he quickly earned a starting job along an offensive line where it was rare that a rookie was able to crack the starting lineup at all.
According to an article from greensboro.com dated July of 1991, Long set a North Carolina Powerlifting record:
"Long, 32, was considered by some the strongest football player in America, and he had the credentials to back it up. In 1982, he lifted 2,203 pounds. Only two people had lifted more – ever. He was the N.C. Powerlifting Champion and held state records in squat (837 pounds), bench press (501 pounds) and deadlift (865 pounds). In 1983, Long was named to four All-America teams and was All-South two straight years. He played in the Hula Bowl and the Blue-Gray Game, both honors for the top seniors in America. In 1983, Long was so far ahead of everyone else in the weight room at East Carolina that the athletic department created an award for him – the Strength Award."
The 501-pound bench press is impressive in and of itself but throw in the over 800 pounds on both the squat and the deadlift, and you are talking some serious strength. Long played for us for eight seasons and never made a Pro Bowl, but probably should have considering he was giving away several inches in height and several pounds in body weight to the defensive players he encountered.
Let’s see who comes in at number five on our list.