Alabama in the Pros

Steelers’ DL Isaiah Buggs hosts inaugural youth fun day back home

Steelers rookie DL Isaiah Buggs (No. 96) at rookie minicamp after the 2019 NFL Draft: Photo via Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

The young man who made his push to the National Football League to put a smile on his mother’s face, shared a happy moment with his mom over the weekend. 

He played his final two years of collegiate football at the University of Alabama, but Isaiah Buggs was back home at Ruston, La., hosting his inaugural youth football/fun day camp.  

According to a report from Chris Demirdjian of NBC’s Channel 10, Buggs told him that he wanted to provide something for all children. Since football won’t be everyone’s first choice, the former junior college star had many games set up and just wanted to see children having fun. 

Buggs’ mother, LaWanda Buggs, saw her son not receive a collegiate offer – despite him producing a strong high school career at Ruston. As she watched him develop into a headline name at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, he continued the dream of putting her in a situation that she could be proud of. Buggs was one of the better JUCO players to come through Nick Saban, as he helped the Crimson Tide win a College Football Playoff national title in 2017. 

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After posting a career with 102 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and 13 quarterback pressures, the Pittsburgh Steelers came calling and it selected Buggs in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft.

He showed his mom that he could do it and for her, it is still unbelievable that she is an “NFL mom.” 

“He is the kind of son that gives back and really cares about everybody and their well-being, it is an awesome feeling,” LaWanda Buggs said about her son.  

Both were emotional upon the defensive end getting drafted, but to see her son doing things the right way had LaWanda excited the most.

The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder is adjusting to life as a professional athlete; however, he is greatly appreciative for his time with the Crimson Tide. 

“I miss being there,” Isaiah Buggs said in thinking on his football days at Alabama. 

“Just the great fans and the great staff that was there. At Alabama, it was all about love and care and Coach Saban did a great job over there. I give all the due credit to him because the powerful man that he is, he put me in the position. If he did not offer me to come to Alabama, I would not have been in this position that I am in today.” 

The two things Buggs focused on in his speech to the youth was “dreams come true” and “God is always on time.” It has been an unbelievable journey for him, but one that had paid off in a professional contract, a chance to continue football and the opportunity to impact others. 

Tide fans are looking forward to seeing Buggs have success in Pittsburgh.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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