In among draft’s most dramatic moments, Ryan Shazier walks to podium |

In among draft’s most dramatic moments, Ryan Shazier walks to podium

Jerry DiPaola

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who suffered a spinal cord injury last season, walked to the podium at AT&T Stadium Thursday night to announce the Steelers’ No. 1 draft choice.

Accompanied by his fiancee, Michelle Rodriguez, it was a dramatic display of Shazier’s recovery only four months after he suffered the injury making a tackle against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

“You saw Ryan Shazier take some very inspirational steps,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said before he addressed the selection of Virgina Tech safety Terrell Edmunds. “That’s a huge lift for, not only him, but for us.

“To see where he has come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it’s beyond inspirational. It’s just exciting for him.”

Colbert said Shazier has set goals for himself and he reached one Thursday.

“When he was ready to walk, he was going to make that determination.” Colbert said. “It was a goal of his.

“Since he’s been working with us in the draft preparation, we thought that would be a good opportunity. It was up to him. He did great. It’s amazing.”

“Really proud of those two and what they were able to do in terms of representing us,” coach Mike Tomlin said of Shazier and Rodriguez.

Shazier, who will not play this season, was a No. 1 pick himself in 2014. He has not ruled out eventually resuming his football career.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

Ryan Shazier, left, and his wife Michelle, right, stand with commissioner Roger Goodell, during the Steelers' selection in the first round of the NFL Draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas.
Getty Images
Terrell Edmunds #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies breaks up a pass against Jalen Camp #80 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 11, 2017 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds (22) grabs an interception as Duke wide receiver T.J. Rahming (3) and Virginia Tech defensive back Mook Reynolds (6) close in during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.
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