Ryan Shazier wears a wristband that reads, “Walking Miracle.”

Shazier, along with Malcolm Jenkins of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, were honorary captains at Ohio State’s spring game Saturday. But while Jenkins’ season ended in glory, Shazier’s ended in near-tragedy when the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker suffered a spinal injury in December.

Shazier required spinal stabilization surgery and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said the linebacker won’t play in 2018.

But Shazier’s optimism, which he was known for as a Buckeye from 2011 to ’13, has not faded. He spoke to reporters from a golf cart before the spring game and later stood at midfield to acknowledge cheers when he and Jenkins were introduced.

Shazier did not want to delve deeply into his rehab process, but he said he is improving.

“I’m feeling a lot better than I was in December when I initially got hurt,” he said. “Every day I’m getting better.”

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As for his wristband’s significance, Shazier replied, “I really feel I’m a living testimony. The Lord has many things in store for me. I’m a walking miracle and I’m going to come back stronger than ever and be back on my feet.”

Shazier said he still remains in contact with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who asked him about serving as an honorary captain.

“He asked me if I was feeling up to it if I would be able to be a (honorary) coach, and I felt it was an honor just to be here and I couldn’t say no.”

He said he has been uplifted by the support he has received from Buckeyes and Steelers fans.

“It’s been outstanding support,” Shazier said. “I still get letters to this day. It’s so much mail I can’t even read it all. I’m just thankful to everybody for all the support and all the prayers. I just want to say thank you to everybody because I wouldn’t be able to be doing so well if it wasn’t for all the support.”

Meyer paid tribute to Shazier after the game.

“One of my favorite players of all time, Ryan Shazier, is going through a little bit of a tough time,” he said. “He was able to share that with people he cares very deeply about — Buckeye Nation and his teammates and coaches.”