Ryan Shazier: Where does he rank?

wilkins0802's picture
February 6, 2014 at 3:25p

Ryan Shazier completed one of the greatest campaigns I have ever seen from an Ohio State linebacker. To me he ranks up there with the great linebackers at Ohio State. He had an amazing 2012, and 2013 was no different. He was always all over the field, and seemed to be involved in every single play. I think if he was to have stayed for his senior season, he could be the greatest to have played for tOSU in my opinion. Alas, everyone has a different opinion, and I would like to hear what you all think..? This is the company I believe he is apart of.

Ryan Shazier ('11-'13): 317 Career Tackles, All-American

Randy Gradishar ('71-'73): 320 Career Tackles, 6th in '73 Heisman voting, 2-time All-American
Chris Spielman ('84-'87): 546 Career Tackles, 2-time All-American, Lombardi Award winner, Team MVP
*A. J. Hawk ('02-'05): 394 Career Tackles, 2-time All-American, Lombardi Award winner, Jack Lambert Trophy winner, Team MVP
Pepper Johnson ('82-'85): 379 Career Tackles, All-American
*James Laurinaitis ('05-'08): 365 Career Tackles, 3-time All-American, Butkus, Nagurski, Lambert and Lott Award winner
Tom Cousineau ('75-'78): 569 Career Tackles, 2-time All-American, Team MVP
Steve Tovar ('89-'92): 414 Career Tackles, 2-time All-American
Ike Kelley ('63-'65): 2-time All-American
*Na'il Diggs ('97-'99): 202 Career Tackles, All-American
*Matt Wilhelm ('99-'02): 121 Career Tackles, All-American
Marcus Marek ('79-'82): 572 Career Tackles, All-American
*Andy Katzenmoyer ('96-'98): 256 Career Tackles, All-American, Butkus Award winner, Lambert Award winner
*Bobby Carpenter ('02-'05): 191 Career Tackles
 (* my era)

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BAR43's picture

Your stats are incorrect, RDS compiled 317 total tackles throughout his career at OSU. I would place Shazier as top 5 All-time. He was a beast in every way.

wilkins0802's picture

My apologies, that stat came directly off tOSU site. Thanks for the change.

Truth & Courage, 1-17IN, 5/2 SBCT


BAR43's picture

No worries... big red flag when it shows stats for 2013 as 24 tackles... think he had one game with that many tackles haha

Borrowed Time's picture

so many All-American studs. If he had played with a stronger defensive unit as a whole, I think he would have stood out even more than he already did.

Hovenaut's picture

I put RDS at the cusp of the top 10 (I'm not going to try and rank those out), ahead of Diggs, Wilhelm and Carpenter.
You want a list of linebackers, that's a list of linebackers.

Knarcisi's picture

Completely agreed. Definitely ahead of those 3 and its a damn good problem to have after that.

johnblairgobucks's picture

So, Shazier, Diggs and Wilhelm are on the sideline and you need to put one in to make a 4th and goal stop in the 4th quarter of a National Championship Game....... really not an easy choice..... but give me Wilhelm.

The Urban Legend's picture

I rank him a spot or two below AJ Hawk. Kid is a monster and hell of an inspirational leader who genuinely cares for his teammates. 

The Legend continues

johnblairgobucks's picture

Shazier was a fantastic Buckeye.  I too would place him outside of the Top 10 All-Time OSU linebackers. Behind Hawk, Laurinaitis, Tovar, Spielman, Johnson, Gradishar, Marek, Cousineau, Katzenmoyer for sure, then throw in Homan, Wilhelm, Diggs, Styles, and Rolle for that matter (IMO).  Shazier made some superb plays with his blazing speed, but he struggled mightily fighting off blocks, over-ran plays, and wasn't the best in pass coverage. 
RDS's play helped win many games for the Buckeyes, and that can't be taken from him.

Crumb's picture

Wilk, your era is the same as mine and as far as guys I've seen play. I think he is particularly hard to compare because he didn't have as much help as many of those other guys, and he was moved around a lot more than the other guys, like Wilhelm, Little Animal, and Katz. Hawk and Carpenter are the only guys I can remember moving around as much as RDS and I'd have him a little better than Bobby and not as good as A.J. He does definitely belong among the great Buckeye LBs you mentioned. I remember first noticing him in 2011 against Penn State. We lost but RDS was all over the place, and afterward I told my brother, 'we may have lost, but watch that Shazier kid, he's gonna be the next great Buckeye Linebacker'. Best wishes RDS you were one of the best!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

wilkins0802's picture

Yep! I said the same thing to my dad about that Penn State game..really showed flashes of greatness that day. I agree with ranking him above Carp, but below A.J...good assessment.

Truth & Courage, 1-17IN, 5/2 SBCT


Ebvine96's picture

He is in the conversations, if he had stayed one more year would have broken a lot of records

Mortc15's picture

That's one hell of a list, but Laurinaitis stands out with 3-AA selections and is that every award possibly?
Of the 14 listed, I would put Shazier about right in the middle, maybe slightly top half. 5-6-7 range.


wilkins0802's picture

No Lombardi, but he should have won it at least once..

Truth & Courage, 1-17IN, 5/2 SBCT


NCBuckeyeForLife's picture

He was very good but not elite?  The Big Kat, AJ, and Chris never disappeared in big games but they didn't have Fickell calling the D nor a susceptible secondary behind them. On second thought, we might be begging for his return next especially early on next year.

TilstheHun3's picture

RDS was great. A legendary tOSU linebacker...
More importantly, A.J. Hawk was ROBBED by not being awarded the Butkus. Still irks me to this day and will forever. At least in my era, I'm a young guy, Hawk was the best tOSU linebacker I've ever seen. Miss him.
I'll miss RDS too, good luck in the pros.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

yrro's picture

It's tough to compare, because every one of those other greats had a great linebacker next to him, a Robin to his Batman. Hawk had Carpenter. Laurinaitis had Freeman. Rolle and Homan had each other. RDS had... a giant gaping hole where Curtis Grant's recruiting stars were supposed to be.