As players take their final breaks before training camp, we will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.
Today we’ll focus on offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher:
1. He joins an Alabama heavy roster.
The Redskins organization has deep ties to the University of Alabama. Three first-round picks on the roster are Crimson Tide alumni, not to mention the recent addition of all-pro safety Landon Collins and three other draftees.
The team additionally has acquired a few players from Tuscaloosa in recent years, most of which are former teammates of Pierschbacher. The versatile lineman received many calls and texts from those teammates moments after his named was called.
"I thought I escaped those guys [Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen] and I'm coming right back,” Pierschbacher joked. “Also, Ryan Anderson off the edge and Shaun Dion [Hamilton] in the middle. It'll be a lot of fun during practice and I'm looking forward to going against those guys again – a reunion."
Take a look at photos of the Redskins 153rd 2019 NFL Draft pick, OL Ross Pierschbacher.
2. He recorded the most career starts of any position player in Alabama history.
Pierschbacher made history this collegiate postseason after tying the record for most career starts by any Alabama player after the 2019 College Football National Championship game on January 7, totaling 57.
J.K. Scott was the only other member of the Crimson Tide to play as many games, leaving the Tide in 2018 to play for the Green Bay Packers. Scott was a punter, making Pierschbacher the only position player to ever play as many games.
“[Scott’s] a punter, so technically I feel like I can claim it,” Pierschbacher said. “But that’s very cool. It’s just been a crazy ride.”
Four of those starts came in the College Football Playoff National Championship, also a record for any player.
3. He’s the only NFL player to come out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, since 1930.
The last NFL athlete to come out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, before Pierschbacher came 89 years ago.
Two athletes played only one season separately in 1928 and 1930. The first man to ever take to the professional scene was Cedar Falls native Herb Sies, who played in the very first game in NFL history as part of the Dayton Triangles in 1920. At the time, the league was still the American Professional Football Association.
Nearly 100 years later, Pierschbacher becomes the fourth Iowan professional football player from Black Hawk County.
4. He’s a versatile lineman who played multiple positions.
During his collegiate tenure, Pierschbacher blocked for a total of 31 100-yard rushers in his career at multiple positions. He started 42 games at left guard from 2015-2017 before moving to center prior to the 2018 season.
The transition went exceptionally well, since he went on to become an All-American and finished as a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's top center.
He even played a brief stint at right guard at the beginning of the Tide’s 2016 season.
5. He had a chance to connect with Redskins’ Hall of Famer Joe Jacoby.
"Just seeing a guy like this, who left such a big mark in the NFL, and with the Washington Redskins in particular, it's just awesome to be able to talk to him and see what type of person he is," Pierschbacher said.
Some of the "Hogs" -- a group of Redskins' offensive linemen that dominated the line of scrimmage during the 1980s and early 1990s -- met Pierschbacher at Joe Gibbs' 30th Annual Burgundy & Gold Banquet last month.
"I enjoy seeing [the rookies],” Jacoby said during the banquet. “I enjoy seeing their excitement, what lies out there in front of them as far as the opportunity that they have here with the Redskins and what they can do. It's been 38 years for me, so it's kind of neat to see the young fresh faces."
The Redskins line set a deep tradition during their championship years, but one key factor to their success is what their effort did for the team. Jacoby is adamant that despite your circumstances, great things can happen for players who end up in D.C.
"I look back at 13 years, wasn't drafted, and I got driven to the airport by a scout from the Seattle Seahawks and ended up here in Washington D.C.," Jacoby said. "To have the career had, I'm very blessed."
6. He goes way back with fellow Iowan Brandon Scherff.
Naturally, when an esteemed high school prospect is considering college, he first visits the team that represents the state he grew up in. For Pierschbacher, that team was the Iowa Hawkeyes. When he took his initial visit, his host was no other than current right guard and two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff.
After he was drafted, Scherff contacted him offering his encouragement. Scherff even encouraged him to bring his fishing pole along.
From hunting to fishing, Pierschbacher enjoys spending time outdoors. He can be seen on his Instagram fishing before training camp or hunting wild boar and turkey in his free time. He also spends time on the lake and in the woods.
7. He’s bonded with fellow rookie offensive lineman Wes Martin.
The two linemen were drafted back to back in this year's draft and fulfill the same position at left guard. Martin originally came out of the Midwest like Pierschbacher, which became a trait they bonded over during rookie minicamp. The healthy competition for the left guard starting spot continued throughout OTAs and full team practices between the rookies and Erik Flowers.
“He’s awesome. Once we got drafted we kind of bonded right away,” said Pierschbaker when asked about Martin. “We’ve just really been partners out here setting the tone for the offensive line as well. So it’s been awesome to work with him.”