Monday, November 21, 2011

BUCKEYES LB RYAN SHAZIER NAMED BIG TEN'S FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

Ryan Shazier
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
(Updated) COLUMBUS — Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier has been named the Big Ten Conference's freshman of the week, the league announced Monday morning.

He is the second Buckeyes player this season to garner the award — quarterback Braxton Miller won it after leading Ohio State past Wisconsin in late-October.

The true freshman Shazier, who was making his first career start Saturday in place of injured senior Andrew Sweat, recorded 15 tackles in the 20-14 loss to the Nittany Lions.

"It was bittersweet," Shazier said following the game Saturday. "I had the best game I could play but we didn't pull it out. I wanted to win for the seniors, especially Andrew Sweat so I could make him proud."

The 15 tackles by Shazier is the most in a single game for a Buckeyes player since 2009.

The native of Florida has tallied 39 tackles on the season, as well as three sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.

During Monday's press luncheon in Columbus, OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock offered praise for his young linebacker.

"He's a talented football player," Heacock said. "Great explosion. Gets from point A to point B as quick ... I doubt there's any linebackers that we have that get there a whole lot quicker (than Shazier). He has instincts that are phenomenal. He makes plays. He's active. He's going to be an unbelievable linebacker at Ohio State.

"There's no question about that."