Ryan Shazier

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Ryan Shazier
refer to caption
Shazier in 2014 training camp
No. 50 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Personal information
Born: (1992-09-06) September 6, 1992 (age 26)
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Plantation (Plantation, Florida)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Career history
Roster status:Physically unable to perform (PUP)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:299
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Ryan Dean Shazier (/ʃˈzɪər/; born September 6, 1992) is an American football linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.

College career[edit]

Shazier initially committed to play for Urban Meyer at Florida but rescinded his commitment after Meyer resigned as the Gators head coach. He then committed to play under Jim Tressel at Ohio State, but Tressel resigned five months later and was eventually replaced with Urban Meyer.[1]

As a true freshman, Shazier played in every regular season contest and started 3 games. His first start came near the end of the season against Penn State, where he recorded 15 tackles. He started the next two games and ended his season with 57 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.[2]

In 2012, he started all 12 regular season games for Ohio State. Against Penn State, Shazier posted 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in the third quarter that he returned for the game-deciding touchdown. In a victory against Wisconsin, he had 12 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and he made a game-saving tackle on a goal line stand on fourth and inches. He would finish 2012 leading the Big Ten with 17 tackles for a loss and place second in the league with 115 tackles. Shazier also had 5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles for the season.[2]

Against Indiana in 2013, he posted more than 20 tackles and tied the school record with 16 solo tackles and 5 tackles for loss. He was voted a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN.com, and Sports Illustrated. His 101 solo tackles were the second best in the league and his 143 tackles led the Big Ten Conference. He also had a career-high 6 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.

On January 5, 2014, Shazier announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.[3]

Shazier finished his career at Ohio State with 315 tackles, 208 solo tackles, and 14.5 sacks.

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Tackles Interceptions Forced
Comb Total Ast For Loss Sacks Int Yards Avg TD PD
2011 Ohio State 13 58 38 20 5.0 3.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2012 Ohio State 12 115 70 45 17.0 5.0 1 17 17.0 1 0 0
2013 Ohio State 14 144 102 42 23.5 7.0 0 0 0.0 0 4 4
College totals[4] 39 317 210 107 45.5 15.0 1 17 17.0 1 4 5

Professional career[edit]

Coming out of Ohio State, many analysts and scouts projected him as an early-to-mid first round draft selection. He was ranked the third best outside linebacker and the 19th best prospect by NFLDraftScout.com.[5] He was invited to the NFL Combine and was able to perform almost all the workouts and positional drills except for the 40, 20, and 10 yard dash. Shazier also participated at Ohio State's Pro Day and was able to finish the drills he didn't complete at the combine. He received numerous positive reviews for his athleticism, agility, production, flexibility, acceleration, strong hands, and lateral movement. Most negative reviews by analysts were based on his lack of ideal size and his under developed vision, instincts, anticipation, and awareness.[1]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 1 18 in
(1.86 m)
237 lb
(108 kg)
32 38 in
(0.82 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.38 s 1.56 s 2.58 s 4.21 s 6.91 s 42 in
(1.07 m)
10 ft 10 in
(3.30 m)
25 reps
All values from NFL Combine and Ohio State's Pro Day.[6][7]


The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Shazier in the first round with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.[8] He was the third linebacker taken in the draft behind Khalil Mack (5th) and Anthony Barr (9th).

On June 5, 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Shazier to a fully guaranteed four-year, $9.50 million contract with a signing bonus of $5.23 million.[9]

Shazier began the season as the starting left inside linebacker. He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Steelers' home opener against the Cleveland Browns. In his first career game, he made six total tackles (five solo) and a pass deflection. The following week against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 15 total tackles, with 11 of them being solo, in a 6–20 loss. Shazier missed weeks 4–7 of his rookie season with a knee injury. He returned for his first game back from his injury on October 26, 2014, against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the game with four tackles (two solo tackles). After playing two games, Shazier then injured his ankle and missed another four games.[10] After returning, Shazier made six combined tackles in a 27–17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on December 24. Following an 11–5 season the Steelers made the playoffs. In his first career playoff game, Shazier made 3 solo tackles and one assist in a 17–30 wild-card loss to the Baltimore Ravens. In his first season, he finished with a total of 36 tackles, 24 solo tackles, and a pass deflection in five starts and eight games.


After his rookie season, Shazier returned the next season to again be the starting inside linebacker. On September 10, 2015, Shazier made five solo tackles and two assists in the season opener at the New England Patriots. The next game against the San Francisco 49ers, he left the game with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter after making a career-high 15 total tackles and 11 solo tackles. He also sacked 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his first career sack. Shazier missed weeks 3–6 with nerve damage in his shoulder.[11] After returning, he made five solo tackles, one assist, and a sack in a Week 10 win over the Cleveland Browns. On November 29, 2015, he sustained a concussion and left in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks. On December 20, 2015, Shazier made three solo tackles, three assists, and three pass deflections in a 34–27 win over the Denver Broncos. He also made his first career interception, after picking off Bronco's quarterback Brock Osweiler.[12] On January 9, 2016, during the AFC Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Shazier stripped the ball from Jeremy Hill with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter. The ball was recovered by Ross Cockrell, leading to the game-winning field goal from Chris Boswell. Shazier finished the 18–16 victory with nine combined tackles and two forced fumbles.[13] He finished the season with 87 combined tackles, 3½ sacks, and an interception in 12 starts and 12 games.


Shazier returned to his starting inside linebacker role to begin the 2016 season. He started the Pittsburgh Steeler's season-opener against the Washington Redskins and made six combined tackles, two pass deflections, a forced fumble, and intercepted Kirk Cousins as the Steelers routed the Redskins 38–16. The next game, Shazier recorded a season-high 12 combined tackles in a 24–16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He re-injured his knee the following game against the Philadelphia Eagles and was inactive from Weeks 4–6.[14] He made his return in a Week 7 matchup against the New England Patriots and was limited to two assisted tackles and a pass deflection in the 27–16 loss.[12] On November 20, 2016, Shazier racked up seven total tackles, a pass deflection, and sacked Josh McCown for his first of the season, as the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 24–9.[15] On December 25, 2016, he recorded ten combined tackles and intercepted Joe Flacco in a 31–27 playoff clinching victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The next game, Shazier made eight combined tackles and intercepted Robert Griffin III in the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–24 win over the Browns on their season finale.[12]

He finished the regular season with 87 combined tackles, 9 pass deflections, 3½ sacks, and 3 interceptions in 12 starts and 13 games.[12] On January 8, 2017, Shazier recorded six combined tackles and intercepted Matt Moore, as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wildcard game 30–12.[16]


On April 24, 2017, the Steelers picked up the fifth-year option on Shazier's contract.[17]

As the starting left inside linebacker, he made seven combined tackles in a 20–12 season-opening victory over the New York Giants. On September 10, 2017, Shazier had one of the best statistical games of his career, tying a career-high with 11 solo tackles and forcing a career-high of two forced fumbles during a 21–18 victory over the Cleveland Browns.[12]

During a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 4, Shazier sustained what appeared to be a severe back injury after a head-on tackle. The hit left Shazier seemingly unable to move his legs. After stabilization he was taken to the hospital and the next morning revealed that he had sustained a spinal contusion.[18] On December 7, Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery to secure the injured section of spine and to aid in his recovery.[19] The surgery ended his 2017 season.[20][21] On December 19, 2017, Shazier was named to his second Pro Bowl.[22]


On February 28, 2018, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert announced that Shazier would not be able to play during the 2018 season.[23] On April 26, 2018, Shazier walked onto the AT&T Stadium stage with his fiancée to announce the 28th pick of the NFL draft, Terrell Edmunds.[24] On May 2, the Steelers placed Shazier on the reserve/PUP list, meaning that in all likelihood, he would be out for the entire 2018 season.[25]

On November 30, 2018, Ryan Shazier jogged for the first time since his spinal stabilization surgery, according to Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter.[26]

NFL statistics[edit]

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sack Int Yards Avg Long TD PD FF FR Yards
2014 PIT 9 5 36 24 12 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2015 PIT 12 12 87 55 32 3.5 1 0 0.0 0 0 4 2 1 0
2016 PIT 13 12 87 55 32 3.5 3 0 0.0 0 0 9 3 1 0
2017 PIT 12 12 89 68 21 0.0 3 2 0.7 2 0 11 2 1 3
2018 PIT Did not play (injury)
Career 46 42 299 202 97 7.0 7 2 0.3 2 0 25 7 3 3


Personal life[edit]

Shazier has alopecia, an autoimmune condition which prevents the growth of hair on the body. Throughout his childhood, he was the subject of ridicule and taunting because of this. However, with support and encouragement from his parents, Shazier developed an altruistic temperament to deal with the jabs and name calling.[28] In May 2017, he wrote of his experiences when his hair unexpectedly began growing back.[29] Shazier has a son from a previous relationship, and another son born in January 2019. He is currently married to his wife, Michelle Rodriguez.[30]


  1. ^ a b "NFL Draft Profile: Ryan Shazier". NFL.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Ohio State Buckeyes Player Bio:Ryan Shazier".
  3. ^ "OSU's Shazier to NFL; Miller returns". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ryan Shazier College Stats". Sports Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "*Ryan Shazier, DS #3 OLB, Ohio State: 2014 NFL Draft". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "2014 NFL Draft Profile: Ryan Shazier". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "*Ryan Shazier – Ohio State, OLB : 2014 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  8. ^ "Steelers pick Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier in first round". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Sportrac.com: Ryan Shazier contract". sportrac.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Josh Alper. "Ryan Shazier will miss another game". Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Alec Nathan. "Ryan Shazier injury update:the linebacker's shoulder injury and return". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e NFL.com. "NFL Player Profile:Ryan Shazier". Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "NFL Game Center: Post 18-2015: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals". NFL.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  14. ^ "Steeler's injury report: Ryan Shazier's triumphant return to practice couldn't come at a better time". behindthesteelcurtain.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  15. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 11-2016: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns". NFL.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 18-2016: Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers". NFL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Gantt, Darin (April 24, 2017). "Steelers pick up the 2018 option for Ryan Shazier". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com.
  18. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "Steelers LB Ryan Shazier suffers spinal contusion". NFL. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  19. ^ "Ryan Shazier undergoes spinal stabilization surgery". NFL. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ryan Shazier's Spinal Injury Is 'Severe,' NFL Players Union Doctor Says". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  21. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Steelers place LB Ryan Shazier on injured reserve". NFL. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  23. ^ "Steelers GM says Ryan Shazier won't play in 2018". NFL.com. February 28, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  24. ^ "pick". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "Steelers place LB Ryan Shazier on reserve/PUP list". NFL. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  26. ^ "Year after injury Shazier chasing dreams one step at a time". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ryan Shazier Stats". NFL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  28. ^ "How Ohio State's Ryan Shazier overcame constant name-calling and won over Urban Meyer with his 'heart of gold'". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  29. ^ "Bruh". The Players Tribune. May 23, 2017.
  30. ^ "Ryan Shazier and Family expecting second child". 247sports.com. July 24, 2018.

External links[edit]