Ryan Shazier walks to the podium pic.twitter.com/VOucpsafwH— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) June 6, 2018
A little over six months since his spinal injury against the Bengals, former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier once again walked to the podium on Wednesday to speak to reporters as the Steelers got their OTAs underway.
Assisted by the use of a cane, his cadence was much smoother than it was just two months at the NFL Draft — when he took the stage with his fiancee to make the first round pick for the Steelers — and showng how much and how quickly he’s improving each and every day.
I could lie to you and tell you that seeing him walk and/or participate in team activities doesn’t make me teary-eyed (every. damn. time.), but I won’t.
Here’s a guy who devoted his entire self to being among the most elite linebackers and players in the NFL, and before he even got a chance to celebrate being at the top of his game, everything came crashing down around him. He was never anything but positive in his outlook of the situation since that scary day, and continues to tout the line that he wants to get back on the football field for some more snaps.
“My dream is to come back and play football again,” Shazier said. “I’ve been working my tail off every day and I have that in the back of my mind every day I go to rehab.”
That’s still a long ways away, but for now, he’s comfortable knowing he’s got the support of the Steelers organization and his entire Buckeye family. With each baby step, Shazier gets a little closer to once again playing the game that he loves.
“Coached by former Buckeye point guard Scoonie Penn, who is currently OSU’s director of player development, and former Ohio State forward Evan Turner, the 2010 National Player of the Year, Scarlet & Gray will be the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region after winning said region in last year’s event.”
The Basketball Tournament announced their brackets for the 2018 event on Wednesday, with the group of Thad Matta’s alumni snagging the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region thanks to their win over the same division last year.
Featuring all your favorite Buckeyes from years past, including Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, and William Buford, the team fell just shy of taking home the $2 million purse in 2017, thanks to a double-overtime loss to Team ALS.
Team Scarlet and Gray won’t be the only team featuring some former Ohio State stars, with more recent Buckeyes (Andrew Dakich, Jae’Sean Tate, and Kam Williams) suiting up for the Big X team — made up of Big Ten alumni — in the No. 4 seed in the same region.
This should be very exciting for Buckeye fans in or near Columbus, with the central Ohio city hosting the first two rounds of the Midwest Region at the Capital Center at Capital University.
Big X will be the first of the two teams to take the court, and will face the No. 13-seeded Chattanooga Trenches at 10 a.m. ET on July 21. Later that day, Team Scarlet and Gray will play the winner of the Charlotte Chess Center and West Virginia Wildcats matchup, with Craft and team set to tip-off at 4 p.m. ET.
If both teams win their first few matchups, we could get a battle of the veteran OSU alumni vs the rookie Buckeye alums in the Super 16 game in Atlanta on July 26.
As soon as the last name was called during the 2018 NFL Draft, national scouts and analysts shifted their focus to the 2019 group of draft prospects, with most agreeing that the over No. 1 pick could come out of Ohio State. It doesn’t seem like Buckeye DE Nick Bosa being considered the top overall pick is all the surprising to his older brother -- and former No. 3 overall pick -- Joey Bosa.
The younger Bosa has been touted as being even better at playing DE than Joey, going back to his high school recruitment days. Nick will have his chance to prove that one more season with the Buckeyes, and should get a lot more snaps in 2018 given the DE rotation and a few of the starters who were drafted earlier this year.
With guys like Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes no longer competing for those defensive snaps, Nick Bosa should stand out week-after-week come this fall.
The Bosa men just keep getting better. Their father John -- who also played DE — was the No. 16 overall (first round) draft pick in 1987 by the Miami Dolphins. From the No. 16 pick to Joey being taken at No. 3, if Nick does come off the 2019 draft board at No. 1, the family’s draft legacy will officially be complete.
At least the Buckeyes get Nick in Columbus for one more season before he’s terrorizing NFL offenses alongside his brother.
Other Buckeye Scheduling Bits
The 2018 Buckeye schedule was released this week, and it includes several teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. First-year Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve is ready for tough competition in his inaugural season with the Buckeyes.
“We couldn’t more excited for our 2018 schedule [...] Our home schedule is one of the toughest in the Midwest giving our fans an opportunity to come out and watch high-level college soccer. We are ready for the season to start,” Maisonneuve said.
The Ohio State women’s soccer team announced their 2018 schedule on Tuesday. Following their 15-5-1 season last year, and the program’s first outright Big Ten Championship, the Buckeyes will face some tough competition including nine NCAA Tournament teams from 2017.
“We have a variety of different teams and styles we’ll be matched up against and it will ultimately prepare us for Big Ten play. I like this schedule a lot and there is a lot of balance to it,” head coach Lori Walker-Hock said.
Ohio State’s Will Grimmer has qualified for his second-ever U.S. Open, with the Cincinnati native first qualifying in 2014 at the age of 17. Grimmer’s win earlier in the week at the Springfield Sectional qualifier solidified his spot in the 118th US Open at Shinnecock Hills next week.
The first round will get started on Thursday, June 14 in Southhampton, NY.
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