George Pickens no longer wants to be known as NFL Youngboy. While appearing as a guest on The Arthur Moats Experience with Deke, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver expressed displeasure with the nickname. Pickens was given the moniker after a picture of him wearing a ski mask, which we now know is called a balaclava, went viral on draft night, and fans likened it to what rapper NBA Youngboy often wears. For his part though, Pickens said he was never really a fan of the nickname, and just wants to be known as GP.
“I weren’t really ever a big fan of it. That was really what the fans were going on with,” Pickens said. “I just let it linger on, and then it kinda got lowkey corny,” Pickens said earlier today via Arthur Moats’ YouTube channel.
The rookie said he never told people to call him NFL Youngboy.
“I never really accepted it anyway, I was just telling people ‘I’m GP.’”
The rookie did embrace the nickname once in the preseason when he implied his blocking fit the NFL Youngboy nickname. But clearly, it was something he never really vibed with and not something he wants to be known as going forward.
As someone who doesn’t know enough about NBA Youngboy and the lore behind the nickname to understand it well enough, I like that Pickens wants something unique and not just a rip-off nickname because of his attire. I mean, GP isn’t a particularly inventive nickname, but some of the best wide receiver’s nicknames are just their initials. Terrell Owens and Antonio Brown come to mind (and as much as Brown wanted Mr. Big Chest to stick, I think most people would consider AB to be his nickname).
In the end, whatever Pickens wants to be called doesn’t really matter. It’s his production on the field that matters, and the second-round pick has been a really solid downfield threat in his rookie season. He just caught the game-winning touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders, and he’s totaled 47 receptions for 700 yards and three touchdowns this season, while having the third-most 20+ yard catches out of any receiver in the NFL. His body control and contested-catch ability along the sideline is incredibly impressive, and his future looks to be a bright one.
If Pickens can build off his production going forward, “GP” might be to Pickens as “TO” is to Owens (albeit hopefully with less drama off-the-field).