Skip to main content

Shazier: 'It motivates you'

In some places, it's just a rite of spring.

At Ohio State, it's so much more.

And Ryan Shazier was a huge part of it.

Shazier, along with Malcolm Jenkins, was one of the honorary coaches for the Ohio State Spring Game on Saturday at Ohio Stadium, where he was part of 'Team Scarlet.'  

The game time had to be moved up, and the schedule was altered, because of the weather, but when it comes to Ohio State football, the show must go on.

Shazier has been in contact with Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer since he suffered his spinal injury in November and getting him to come back to Ohio State was something both sides have wanted to see happen.

"Me and Coach Meyer, we have a good relationship," said Shazier. "He came to see me when I was at the hospital and we talked a few times. He told me if I was feeling good, he wanted me to come and be one of the honorary coaches. Me being a proud Ohio State alumni and fan, I couldn't say no.

"It's exciting. Seeing the new team, the quarterbacks, the new guys on defense. We have a lot of guys that left to go to the NFL, but we have a good program and I know they will come back even stronger. I am just happy to help them. I hadn't been back in a while so it's a good opportunity to build some personal relationships and get to know them."

Being around the players, around the game, is something that helps Shazier through the recovery process, but at the same time, it's not easy.

"It's a good feeling to be on the field, but it hurts for a second," he said. "I was talking to a good friend of mine on the phone and sometimes when you are at the games, or in the moment, it kind of hurts dealing with my situation. But it's a great day, a lot of fun, and good to be a part of."

Shazier has been an inspiration to so many, far beyond the reaches of Steelers and Buckeye Nation. And he feels and appreciates every bit of the love and support that has been sent his way.

"It motivates you when you get the reaction you get from the crowd," said Shazier. "The people at Ohio State loved me before I got hurt. The people at the Steelers loved me before I got hurt. Just the fact that I am going through this, so many people have been reaching out, praying and having their hands of protection around me. It really means a lot.

"Just to be able to go back and say thank you to people who have been supporting me, it means a lot to me."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.