Ryan Shazier driving himself, and others while at Steelers practices

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Ryan Shazier‘s father Vernon was as moved as the rest of us, when his son walked across the stage at the 2018 NFL Draft.

And while he said his son is still  “submerged” in rehab after last year’s spinal injury, he’s encouraged by the progress he has made so far and the support he’s gotten from others.

Vernon Shazier told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that Ryan is even driving a car to rehab appointments, though he often gets rides, including to the Steelers facility.

While there, the veteran linebacker is acting as a mentor and an inspiration, which his father refers to as: “Finding a way to lead other than making tackles.”

He’s been at Steelers OTAs, watching from a golf cart and helping young players as he can. He’s also stayed connected, helping with a football camp along with teamamte Jesse James.

“He’s always around. He’s in meetings, I see him working in the training room, working in the weight room,” James said. “Just taking it one day at a time, doing his thing, helping the team as much as he can. . . .

“He’s always an uplifting and positive guy, so it was awesome to see him out in the community. He was chirping a little bit, talking, he was trying to find the big kids to organize races.”

Those might seem like little things, since he won’t play football this year (or perhaps ever), but Shazier remains an uplifting example for those around him.