Every now and then we all need some inspiration. I just got a good dose of it, thanks to Steeler linebacker and former Buckeye Ryan Shazier.
Our Lori Schmidt attended Monday night's "National Football Foundation and College Hall Of Fame" banquet in Columbus, where Shazier was honored with the "Tyson Gentry Courage Award." Gentry himself is an inspiration. The walk-on receiver suffered a neck injury during Ohio State spring football in 2006. It has left Gentry confined to a wheel chair but has not affected his spirit. His "New Perspective Foundation" helps individuals hospitalized due to spinal cord injuries. The New Perspective Foundation assists the family and friends of spinal cord patients with everything from airfare, gasoline or lodging expenses so they can travel to support the hospitalized individual in their time of need.
Shazier suffered a serve spinal cord injury in a game versus the Bengals in December 2017. Many feared he would never walk again. Instead, just four months later, he walked across stage at the 2018 NFL draft to announce the Steelers first round pick. Shazier continues to work out every day, with the goal of one day, playing football again.
Lori talked with Ryan after he received the Tyson Gentry Award, and in a conversation that lasted under 90 seconds, Shazier's courage, determination and faith were overflowing. You can hear for yourself below. It's inspirational.
The award to Shazier was just part of the evening which celebrated everything good in the game of football. Awards were also given to 15 high school scholar-athletes, and to college scholar-athletes, not only from Ohio State but also Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Capital, Denison, Ohio Domincan and Kenyon. Additionally, former Buckeye linebacker A.J. Hawk was given the Ohio Gold award, presented annually to a former player, coach or administrator who has had a positive impact on amateur football in Central Ohio. Special guests included the likes of former Buckeye coach Jim Tressel, Gentry and former Buckeye safety Mike Doss. On her Twitter feed, Lori captured much of the special evening. You can check it all out below.