Steelers first-round pick Ryan Shazier arrived in Pittsburgh on Friday and talked about a variety of topics in his first meeting with the media.
Among the subjects he hit on were the history of the team, changing jersey numbers in college and the influence his father has had on him.
On what it’s like to join the Steelers organization and see the six Super Bowl Trophies at the team’s practice facility:
“It was amazing just to see the trophies in person. Seeing them right there by each other. The plan is to come here and get the seventh trophy. It is just amazing to be in a great city like this with the greatest franchise. I know a little bit about the history, but I still have a lot to learn.”
On why he changed jersey numbers while at Ohio State:
“My sophomore year I wore No. 48 because one of my close friends (Gary Curtis) had died from Muscular Dystrophy. He never got to play and I wanted to play through him and let people understand what the disease is about.
“Christian Bryant (Ohio State teammate) got hurt this year and he was the leader of our defense. We had about eight captains and I was one of the captains, but he was the main guy. He was the guy who would get everybody going, the rah-rah guy. To see him hurt it was deep in my heart. I felt like I had to do something about it. We all felt it would be great for me to have his number and feel like he was still out there on the field with us.”
On the influence his father, Rev. Vernon Shazier, has had on him:
“I feel like him and my mom are my two best friends. I can talk to them about anything. Especially my dad, I can talk to him about anything spiritually, football because he coached a little high school. As a father and friend he leads me in the right way. Every decision I make I talk it over with my dad. I feel like my dad is never going to lead me in the wrong direction. I feel like he is one of the greatest influences I ever had in my life.”
--Teresa Varley, Steelers.com
(Video courtesy: KDKA-TV)
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