Ryan Shazier

is a former two-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his university years at The Ohio State University, he played three impressive seasons before deciding to forgo his last season to enter the 2014 draft. He tied the school record with 16 solo tackles and five tackles for loss and was named first-team All-American by AP, USA Today, ESPN.com, and Sports Illustrated.

Shazier had excellent prospects ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft. His athleticism, agility, flexibility, acceleration, strong hands, and lateral movement were primarily praised. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Shazier in the first draft round, with him as the 15th overall pick and third selected linebacker. He played four seasons with the Steelers with 202 solo tackles, 97 assists, seven sacks, three fumble recoveries, and seven interceptions.

In a game against the Cleveland Browns on September 10, 2017, Shazier had one of the best games of his career. He tied his career-high of 11 solo tackles and created a new career-high of two forced fumbles. On December 4, 2017, he suffered a spinal contusion after a head-on tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. He received spinal stabilization surgery and could not play for the remainder of the season. Despite this, he was named to his second Pro Bowl for the 2017 season. Shazer could not play in subsequent seasons as he healed and learned to walk again. He announced his retirement from the NFL in 2020.

Though his illustrious career was cut short, Shazier has done the opposite of slowing down or giving up. In 2020, he founded the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation to aid patients with spinal injuries and their caregivers by providing them with support, resources, and funding to live independently regardless of their socioeconomic situation.

He wrote his book “Walking Miracle” in 2021, detailing how he recovered from paralyzation and found his purpose. In addition, he hosts the podcast “Don’t Call It A Comeback.” Shazier married Michelle Rodriguez and has two sons, one from a previous relationship. In 2019, he returned to OSU and completed his degree in 2020.

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