Steelers select LB Ryan Shazier in the First Round

RYAN SHAZIERLinebacker – Ohio State1st Round – 15th Overall


View photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 1st Round Draft Pick, linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Played in 39 games, starting his final 29 contests at weak-side outside linebacker…recorded 315 tackles (208 solos) with 208 solo hits and 107 assists, as he posted 14 sacks for minus 107 yards, 44.5 stops for losses totaling 172 yards and nine quarterback pressures…returned his only interception 17 yards for a touchdown and deflected 15 other tosses…also caused nine fumbles…NCAA Career-Record Results…among active NCAA FBS players, Shazier ranks eighth in forced fumbles, ninth with 40 solo tackles-for-loss and seventh with 208 solo tackles…his average of 5.36 solo tackles per game is third-best among active players…Big Ten Conference Career-Record Results…his nine forced fumbles tied Jammie Kirlew (2006-09) of Indiana for 10th on the league all-time list…School Career-Record Results…Shazier finished 14th in school history with 315 total tackles…became just the sixth Buckeye to record over 200 solo tackles (208) during a career, joining Chris Spielman (283; 1984-87), Tom Cousineau (259; 1975-78), Marcus Marek (256; 1979-82), Steve Tovar (239; 1989-92) and Mike Doss (228; 1999-2002)…his 44.5 tackles-for-loss rank sixth in OSU annals, topped by Mike Vrabel (66.0; 1993-96), Matt Finkes (59.0; 1993-96), Jason Simmons (56.5; 1990-93), Andy Katzenmoyer (50.0; 1996-98) and Will Smith (45.5; 2000-03)…his fourteen sacks tied Quinn Pitcock (2003-06), John Kacherski (1988-91) and Greg Smith (1989-92) for 17th on the school career chart…holds the school record with nine forced fumbles.


2013 SEASON**
The undisputed leader of an Ohio State defense that ranked seventh nationally vs. the run (102.6), 21st in scoring (21.3) and 29th in total defense (362.2), Shazier was named first-team All-American by The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and USA Today…the Butkus Award finalist and Bednarik and Lott award semifinalist added All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors and was twice named the Lott IMPACT Trophy national player of the week, along with tying a Big Ten record with three conference defensive player of the week honors this season, giving him five for his career…became the 10th Buckeye to lead the team in tackles in consecutive seasons, as his 143 hits led the league and ranked 10th nationally…his 103 solo tackles are the third-best ever by a Buckeye in a season and ranked third in the FBS while leading the league…also led the Big Ten while finishing sixth in the nation with 22.5 stops for losses of 77 yards, including six sacks for minus 36 yards…credited with six quarterback pressures, four pass deflections and four forced fumbles…registered at least 10 tackles in seven games and had at least one stop-for-loss in all but the Iowa and Clemson contests…had 12 tackles (10 solos) and caused a fumble on a sack vs. California…produced nine hits with 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one that caused a fumble vs. Wisconsin, followed by a 10-tackle performance at Northwestern…had a fourth-down sack among his 10 tackles vs. Penn State and added a pair of sacks, three stops-for-loss and seven solo tackles vs. Purdue…in a four-game stretch, he registered 62 tackles, the most in school annals over a similar span…began that march with 16 tackles (11 solos), 1.5 sacks, 3.5 stops-for-loss and a forced fumble vs. Illinois, followed by a career-high 20 tackles (16 solos) and five stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack that caused a fumble vs. Indiana…then collected 14 hits (7 solos), as he assisted on a sack vs. Michigan and delivered 12 tackles (10 solos) with two pass break-ups and 1.5 stops-for-loss vs. Michigan State…closed out his career with nine tackles (7 solos) vs. Clemson in the Orange Bowl.


2012 SEASON**
Earned second-team All-American accolades from The NFL Draft Report and honorable mention from Sports Illustrated, as the All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice started all 12 games at weak-side linebacker…led the team with 115 tackles (70 solos), ranking second in the league with an average of 9.58 hits per game…made five sacks for minus 47 yards, a team-high 17.0 stops for losses of 78 yards and three quarterback pressures…his average of 1.42 stops-for-loss per game led the Big Ten and ranked 17th nationally…Deflected 11 passes and intercepted another for a 17-yard touchdown return…produced at least 10 tackles in six contests, including 13 hits (10 solos) as he caused a fumble on a sack vs. California...followed with another 13 hits (7 solos) vs. Alabama-Birmingham and delivered 10 tackles with a sack vs. Nebraska…deflected a career-high five passes vs. Indiana and posted 12 stops vs. Purdue…his only career interception was returned for a score vs. Penn State, as he caused a fumble on one of his two sacks and was in on eight tackles…had a season-high 14 tackles (11 solos) with two stops-for-loss vs. Illinois, adding 12 hits (9 solos) and a season-high three stops behind the line of scrimmage at Wisconsin.

Played in all 13 games as a true freshman, starting the final three contests at weak-side linebacker…finished sixth on the team with 57 tackles (37 solos), the most by a first-year Buckeye since 1996…had three sacks for minus 14 yards, five stops for losses of 17 yards and two forced fumbles.


Attended Plantation (Pompano Beach, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Steve Davis…the All-State outside linebacker was rated a four-star prospect and regarded as the 14th-best linebacker in the nation, earning the 42nd spot on the Florida Top 100 list compiled by Rivals.com…Scout.com considered him to be the fifth-best outside linebacker in the prep ranks and also took notice of his skills playing defensive end and tight end during his high school days…as a junior, Shazier recorded 87 tackles that included 19 sacks and 28.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage…also caused two fumbles, recovered two others, including one that he returned for a touchdown and blocked a kick…that performance earned him second-team Class 6A All-State honors, along with being named All-Broward County first-team by the Miami Herald…as a senior, the linebacker again delivered 87 tackles, recording 19.5 sacks with four forced fumbles and four blocked kicks…named Broward County's Most Outstanding Player that year, he ended his career as the school's record-holder with 38.5 sacks…the All-State pick ended his prep career by suiting up once more for the Under Armor All-American Game.

Shazier is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Management…son of Vernon and Shawn Shazier…father is the Miami Dolphins' chaplain…born 9/06/92 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida…resides in Pompano Beach, Florida.



General Manager Kevin Colbert: **We're very excited to be able to announce another number-one draft pick, Ryan Shazier, inside linebacker, Ohio State. If you look over Ryan's career, three years at Ohio State, each and every year his production increased. His biggest asset, aside from his youth, is his speed. This guy can flat out run. The thing that really attracts you to him from a defensive standpoint against today's offenses is the offenses continue to spread out, and you need speed. You need speed at linebacker, your secondary; you need speed everywhere. This kid has unique ability to make plays not only at him, but plays laterally as well. Most of those plays are tackles for losses and we're super excited that he was there for us.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin:Like Kevin said, we're excited to have Ryan. He's got both youth and experience. He has played a lot of football at Columbus, Ohio. Obviously, we're always very comfortable looking at Ohio State defensive tape. They asked him to do a lot of similar things that we could envision asking him to do. In their base defense, he played inside and in sub-package football, he got after the quarterback quite a bit. In 2013, I think he had six sacks. He is a guy that will be on his feet, making sideline-to-sideline tackles associated with today's football. We're excited to have him and quite frankly, the man doesn't have any holes. He's a football lover, he's experienced, he's exciting, he's excited to be here and we're excited to have him.

In regards to Ryan being a psychology major, what have your football conversations with him been like?

MT:The conversations have been very, very fluid. He's a football junkie. We've had an opportunity to visit him at several spots along the way. We've brought him in here for a day; he had an opportunity to view our facilities, visit with our staff and talk Ohio State and Pittsburgh Steeler football and he's been comfortable in all of those conversations. We're excited about getting started and seeing what he can do for us.

Re: Middle Linebacker was a need?

KC: Was it a need? I mean with Lawrence Timmons and Vince Williams, and we have hope that Sean Spence comes back. We can never have enough good players at any one position. Again this kid is talented and unique. He's going to continue to grow and his ability to make plays laterally in the backfield as tackles for losses I think that is very important for today's defenses. One thing, it gives coach LeBeau and Coach Tomlin another option defensively. I mean you think about the inside rush possibilities with him, Lawrence and Troy and whoever else we add to the mix it will be exciting.

Mike is this guy able to get in line at the buck?

MT: No were going to look playing him at Mack and maybe move some guys around but that is to be determined. What we needed was a defensive playmaker. He fits the bill in that regard. Not only in terms of his skill set but in terms of what he did there on the field. Highly productive football player, over 100 tackles the last two years. I think 150 last year. He gets after the quarterback, he's rushed the passer and he makes plays in coverage as well. That's what he is, he's a defensive playmaker. Bigger than anything, bigger than position needs what we needed was a defensive playmaker.

Re: Is this what you thought you were getting initially when you drafted Sean (Spence) a couple years ago:

KC: Sean had some of the similar talents. He ran in the four-fives. So in coaching sessions that he's been able to take part in he looks great, he looks healthy. We hope to have him in the mix. As we said we can't have enough good players at any one position. But again getting back to Ryan, when you watch him he's an easy evaluation. Just that burst it's unique. He's going to grow, he has to get stronger, he's going to have to get bigger. There's some big guys that will get on him on occasion, usually he figures it out on the first time and he'll go make another play. You have to put the blinders on to the need word and in this case as coach said we need defensive playmakers. He's a defensive playmaker. You need offensive playmakers maybe we'll get some of those as we go through. Certainly happy to have this guy in our mix.

Only four other players have led Ohio State in tackles two years in a row. Along with his ability to run, is that part of his appeal?

MT: I think he just represents what's going on in football today. College football, with the ability to spread people out, you need people that can play in vertical and horizontal space. He has shown the ability to do that. It has leaked over into the professional game. Just the other day we were talking about the expansion of sub-package football and what that means to defenses going forward. This is a guy that really excels under those circumstances.

Re: His motor and determination on the field:

MT: His production speaks for itself. You don't make 150 tackles without running to the ball. His tape says that, he doesn't need my endorsement. He plays with a great deal of urgency, and not only in 2013 but in 2012 and 2011. We've looked at a lot of Ohio State tape over the course of his career. He was a significant contributor from the day he stepped on campus, and he really improved over the course of his stay there.

What was his 40 time?


KC: 4.40. He ran a 4.40 one time. He pulled a hamstring, which was the reason he didn't run at the combine, because his hamstring was a little tight. He did run it on their pro day. He was unable to do any drills, but we were real comfortable that the athleticism's not a problem, so we really didn't need to see further drill work.

MT:When you start talking about guys at the linebacker position running sub 4.5's, that's rare air. 


Did you see the Steelers selecting you?

I actually did not; I'm really excited about it though. I did not see it coming at all.

Why do you say that?

I knew that they liked me a lot when I visited with them, but I don't know, I just didn't see it coming. I was really surprised. I knew we had a great visit together and I'm really happy I'm here.

What do you know about the Steelers defense and Dick LeBeau?

I know defense is what Pittsburgh's known for and Coach LeBeau is a great coach and has been there for a while. We have to get rolling and get back to the old ways.

Re: He's a Buckeye so he was probably pulling for you don't you think?

Yes, I think so.

From what you know are the schemes similar from what you guys ran at college compared to what's going on with the Steelers?

I really didn't get to watch it that much. I didn't get to see the schemes that much. But from what Coach Fickell tells me the schemes are similar.

Do you feel you have to get bigger to play inside here?

I don't feel I have to get bigger, I've heard it from the coaches that my weight is personally fine. I don't want to try to get any bigger. I feel like I'm at a great weight right now.

How fast have you been timed?

The fastest time I ever had was 4.35. I really feel that I can run faster than that when I'm 100%.

What did you run at your pro day?

A 4.36.

Re: Reaction to being selected and starting a new career in Pittsburgh:

I was just shocked. I saw the area code and I immediately knew what team it was. Playing at Ohio State, I know the Pittsburgh area code pretty well. Just being over there, and hearing my name called and talking to Coach Tomlin was just an amazing feeling. I feel like it's going to be great that I'm in Pittsburgh.

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