Ohio State is bringing two of its most celebrated alums back for its spring game on April 14.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins will serve as honorary coaches for the Buckeyes.
Shazier, 25, suffered a severe spine injury in December and underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6. The former All-America at Ohio State is now in outpatient treatment.
He has used a wheelchair but is making progress in his rehab. Shazier made an appearance at a Pittsburgh Penguins game in February and stood to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd. He says he is expecting to return to the NFL.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer remains in steady communication with Shazier, who was a first-round pick in 2014.
The Buckeyes have been honoring him with "Buckeye Tough" T-shirts that feature Shazier's NFL No. 50 on the left arm and his Ohio State No. 10 on the right.
Jenkins, fresh off a Super Bowl-winning season with the Eagles, was a first-round pick in 2009 by the New Orleans Saints.
The two-time Pro Bowler won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back at Ohio State in 2008.
Jenkins, a leader of the NFL players coalition, is one of the most socially active players in the league, spearheading players' efforts to improve the criminal justice system.
"I'm thrilled and I can't wait to see these two heroes back in Ohio Stadium," Meyer said in a statement. "The respect and admiration I have for each of these young men is off the charts, and I am so proud for our program and for the Ohio State fans that these players want to come back and be a part of our spring game."