The NFL star receives millions of views on his TikToks and holds a strong fan following for his behind-the-scenes content

By Georgia Slater
October 06, 2020 04:15 PM
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JuJu Smith-Schuster
Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty

JuJu Smith-Schuster is all about giving his best performances both on and off the football field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers star, who rose to TikTok stardom for his touchdown dance videos and behind-the-scenes NFL content, tells PEOPLE that being able to connect with his fans through the app is "really cool" and he's been "having so much fun" recording videos for his followers.

While the wide receiver says he's "blown up" on TikTok, he admits he was a "late bloomer" to the social media platform.

"Everyone was using it and I was not for it," he reveals. "Eventually I was like I'm going to start doing dances and show people what people want to see."

Smith-Schuster says he wanted to post content that showed him "just being himself and being authentic." (It's no wonder he's currently nominated as one of the sexiest guys on TikTok in PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive Readers' Poll - vote now!)

The 23-year-old says the app enables him to highlight his personality and reveal what he's like "not being in the helmet."

"I think [the fans] get more excitement of me being around my teammates," he explains. "They don't really get to see the inside of all that."

Smith-Schuster says he's "big into the dancing thing" when it comes to making his videos.

"I do all the new TikTok dances," he says.

His dance moves don't stop when he steps onto the field — Smith-Schuster is also known for his celebratory end-zone dances.

"It's more so that everyone does it in their house, their bedroom, with their friends," he explains of touchdown dances. "To score a touchdown and do it in a professional sport where all eyes are on you and everyone's watching TikTok, it catches people's attention, it catches your eye."

"You just got to do what's popular in our culture right now," he adds.

The athlete is continuing to connect with his fans through his partnership with Oikos as part of the #OikosOneTrip TikTok challenge.

As part of the challenge, fans are asked to post a video to TikTok carrying as many grocery bags as they can into their house in one trip.

"I'm excited to see fans dancing and showing off their muscle," the Steelers player says.

Lucky for Smith-Schuster, the athlete has had several opportunities to film his end zone dances as the Steelers currently boast a 3-0 record this season.

"It feels good to be 3-0 going into the season," he says. "Our team is dominating with what's going on."

However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made for an interesting season, Smith-Schuster says.

"I was told by people who watch from home that there's crowd noise but being in the stadium and not having actual people there, it feels so weird," he admits.

"So it's a lot different, but it doesn't stop us," he tells PEOPLE. "We're going to go out there. We're going to celebrate regardless."