He only opened up after a few months in Steel City. He told of having to sleep nights on benches in Roosevelt Park in Gilmer with no lights, and discussed how scared he was some of those nights. The story went on to chronicle how Curtis overcame those hard years in high school to become a success in Gilmer and Austin to make it to the NFL.
The Mirror had a chance to talk in Indianapolis before Super Bowl XLVI with longtime Steelers receiver and Dancing With The Stars participant Hines Ward, who had “bullying” experiences when he was growing up. We asked his thoughts, being an athlete who overcame almost impossible odds himself, his thoughts of Curtis and how he felt he would fit in with the Steelers long-term.
“It’s a great story (how Curtis overcame the challenges he faced to make it to the NFL). I love the kid. I think he has lots of potential to be a great player in the NFL, and just like today, so many guys in certain situations have been through so much in their life, and then to get to the ultimate goal to play in the NFL and to have that blessing, I’m sure one thing just like us, Curt never forgot where he came from. He remembered those days and those hard times growing up. Hopefully, that just makes him stronger as a person and to continue doing big things.”
We also asked Ward about the injury Curtis had this past season, and his thoughts about how he would fit in down the road with the Steelers. “You know, it was an unfortunate injury that he had. He’ll be fine; he still young and he’ll recover fast and he’ll be in integral part of our defense and he’ll be out there making plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Ward has a pretty good beat on the pulse of the team and there is no doubt that all Gilmer Buckeye fans hope that his assessment is correct and wish Curtis nothing but the best. He is a quality young man who deserves only the best life can offer. Best of success in the future, Curtis!