Ryan Shazier to serve as honorary coach for Ohio State spring game

Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will be in charge of one of the two teams in Ohio State’s spring game. At least honorarily.

Shazier was named as one of the coaches for the Buckeyes’ April 14 game along with Philadelphia Eagles CB Malcolm Jenkins. Both are former Ohio State players and Jenkins will be honored for his role in the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season.

“I’m thrilled and I can’t wait to see these two heroes back in Ohio Stadium,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “The respect and admiration I have for each of these young men is off the charts, and I am so proud for our program and for the Ohio State fans that these players want to come back and be a part of our spring game.”

Shazier suffered a spinal injury during the Steelers’ Dec. 4 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s been largely confined to a wheelchair since he was injured and stood up from his wheelchair at a Feb. 6 Pittsburgh Penguins game to raucous applause.

He said in a February interview that he has designs on returning to the NFL and playing again, saying that he’s “got to get back.” Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert has said Shazier will not play in 2018. 

Shazier was a key component of Ohio State’s 2012 team that went undefeated, though it was ineligible to compete for the BCS Championship that season. The 2013 Buckeyes finished the season 12-2 after an Orange Bowl loss to Clemson and Shazier was taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Steelers.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.