Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was named by USA Today a First-Team All-American in their rosters released yesterday.
The junior linebacker is the heart and soul of the Buckeyes defense. He joined Alabama’s C.J. Mosley and UCLA’s Anthony Barr on the First-Team roster. No other OSU players made the First- or Second-Teams.
In 13 games this season, Shazier has 134 total tackles (94 solo), 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles. His numbers dwarfed those of many of his peers. Yet, Wisconsin’s Chris Borland was honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Mosley won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.
Most NFL mock drafts have Shazier lined up as a first-round selection in next year’s draft. There have been no formal announcements over his intention to leave college, but he is expected to do so. Redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby already has declared for the draft, was honored on senior day and is also expected to be a first-round pick.
On the emotional side, fans will recall that Shazier changed his number to No. 2 in early October to honor injured teammate Christian Bryant. The senior safety was a team captain and his loss was a huge blow for the Buckeyes defense, which faltered in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State.
The Buckeyes are set to play No. 12 Clemson in the Orange Bowl on January 3.