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December 13, 2013

Shazier 'leaning' toward staying

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Should he stay or should he go? Ryan Shazier does not know.

The Ohio State junior linebacker, who named a first-team All-American by USA Today Wednesday, said he hasn't decided one way or the other regarding the chance to forgo his senior in lieu of the NFL draft. But if he had to guess, Shazier -- who's projected by many services as a first-round draft pick -- said he's leaning toward coming back to Columbus.

"Right now, I'm dead flat in the middle," he said Friday afternoon. "I don't know what I'm going to do. If I would say anything I'm probably leaning toward staying so I don't know what I'm doing right now."

Shazier added that this season's outcome won't have a particular bearing on his decision.

"I'm just gonna look at all the evaluations and whatever we just feel is the best decision -- how much school I have left or what is the best circumstances -- just everything I'm just gonna look at everything and how it play out," he said. "Then I'm gonna make my decision."

Shazier, who insisted his focus remains on his team's Orange Bowl bout against Clemson, totaled 134 tackles, 22.5 TFLS, 6 sacks and 4 forced fumbles so far this season.

Urban Meyer and the No. 7-ranked Buckeyes lost their first game in two years to Michigan State, 34-24, in the Big Ten championship game last Saturday.

The defeat snapped a program-record 24-game winning streak and dashed what was likely a berth in the BCS national championship game for the then-second ranked Ohio State.

As a consolation prize, Meyer and company are set to head to South Florida to play the No. 12 Tigers in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 in Miami, Fla.



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