— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) April 14, 2018
The threat of bad weather did not stop Ryan Shazier from returning to Ohio State.
While several other programs opted to call off their spring games due to ominous weather forecasts, the Buckeyes moved their game up a few hours to largely avoid the impending raindrops.
And because the game was played, Shazier, the former Ohio State linebacker, was able to fulfill his duties as honorary captain.
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 14, 2018
It was a special moment for Shazier, who continues to rehab from a serious spinal cord injury that has already ruled him out from suiting up for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. As you can see, Shazier’s health is improving. He was able to stand and wave to the crowd alongside Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, the day’s second honorary captain.
The 25-year-old Shazier was injured in the Steelers’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4 and has mainly been confined to a wheelchair in the months since.
Though he will not return to the field in 2018, Shazier aims to play in the NFL once again, and do so at a high level. In a recent podcast interview, he said he wants to be one of the best linebackers ever and make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I got to get back,” Shazier said. “Right now I’m reading a book and it’s basically saying trust the process. I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, ‘Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day.
“They say like some progressions they see week to week, they see from me day to day. I’m really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler.”
Before his injury, Shazier was one of the better linebackers in the AFC. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017 and has 299 total tackles, seven sacks and seven interceptions in his four seasons (46 games) as a pro.
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