Former Ohio State standout Cameron Heyward grew up around football thanks to his father, Craig Heyward.
Writing for The Players’ Tribune, Heyward shared some of his childhood memories involving his father, who passed away from brain cancer 10 years ago in 2006 at only 39 years old.
Great article about my dad! https://t.co/esNYPYDu1N
— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) August 11, 2016
Heyward’s father was a First Round draft pick who played 11 years in the NFL. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards once, for the Atlanta Falcons in 1995. He also previously starred with Pittsburgh in college, when he finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 1987.
Besides the football memories, Heyward, a 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers pick, recalled a funny story of his father wearing a gold satin suit as a guest speaker at Heyward’s school. Heyward also told the accurate story of how his father got his nickname “Ironhead.” Heyward said it came from someone hitting his dad on the head with a pool cue — the cue snapped in half and Heyward’s father “didn’t blink an eye.”
As for Heyward, he’s about to begin his sixth NFL season. He’s made 22 career sacks.
“Sometimes people, especially those who are a bit younger, ask me why I would have IRONHEAD written on my cleats, or my gloves, or my eyeblack when I took the field for the Steelers or Ohio State,” Heyward wrote. “So I have to tell them the story of my dad. But I don’t mind. Because it’s not a sad story. It’s a joyful one. And it’s a story I’ll never get tired of telling. Plus, it’s another opportunity to remember the man, not the legend. The funny, goofy, honest, gold-satin-suit-wearing man I loved with all my heart.”