Friendships will be checked at the door this Sunday when the Steelers take on the 49ers and two former Ohio State teammates, Ryan Shazier and 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, face each other.
After playing together for three years for the Buckeyes, Shazier is going to have to stop Hyde, who rushed for a league-leading 168 yards against the Vikings on Monday night.
"I didn't need to learn a lot about Carlos," said Shazier. "I kind of knew he was going to do that. I worked out with him some this offseason and I knew he had a big year in store for him. At Ohio State he used to run like that. I knew it was coming."
Hyde moved into the role of the 49ers featured back this year after Frank Gore signed with the Indianapolis Colts. He responded in his first outing with the 168 yards and two touchdowns, and showed off a spin move that opened eyes, but didn't surprise Shazier. "I think Coach (Urban) Meyer taught them spin tutorials over there in Ohio State's offensive practice," said Shazier. "He didn't spin that much, but he had it in his game. Most running backs have it in their game.
"I wasn't surprised when I saw it. I was with Carlos for three years and I have seen every move he has in his repertoire at Ohio State. I practiced against it. Some of the stuff he didn't do in games, I practiced against. I wasn't surprised when I saw some of it."
Shazier, who joked he wasn't sharing any secrets he knew about Hyde with the media, said he texted Hyde after the game to congratulate him, something he does before and after games with a lot of former Ohio State teammates.
"I am proud of him," said Shazier. "He did a great job."