Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is engaged to be married. His lucky lady, Michelle Rodriguez, 25, has previously been linked to NFLer Julio Jones. The couple is set to wed very soon, as evidenced by their respective social media accounts. She has been referring to herself as “Mrs. Shazier” on social media for quite some time, but the couple’s exact wedding date, believed to be in the coming months, is unclear.
On December 4, Shazier suffered a season-ending injury during Monday Night Football. He was taken off the field on a backboard, unable to move his legs. Fans have been leaving messages and well-wishes on his fiancee’s Instagram page.
On Thursday, December 7, it was reported that Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery. Fans were thrilled to see Shazier watching the Steelers take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field. He was accompanied by Michelle, the two dressed in black and yellow to cheer on Shazier’s team.
Here is what you need to know:
1. She Thanked Fans for Their Love & Support
On Wednesday, December 6, Rodriguez took to Instagram to thank family, friends, and fans for their love and support during this challenging time.
“Just wanted to thank EVERYONE for all the prayers and support for Ryan. So sorry I haven’t been answering phone calls and texts at this time. Please just keep Ryan in your prayers. This is honestly more than football. You guys honestly don’t know how much this means to us and our families. The love and support that has been flooded our way is something that we are truly grateful for. We THANK YOU! God is TRULY able,” she wrote.
Prior to Monday night’s football game, she uploaded a picture to Instagram, letting everyone know that she’d be cheering on her man as he and the Steelers took on the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Who’s ready for Monday Night Football?! I AM!!!!! #Defense #50 #Shalieve #steelersnation #steelers *LOCKDOWN #mondaynightfootball,” Rodriguez posted a few hours ago along with a photo of Shazier.
Not long after Shazier’s injury, people flooded the post with comments about her fiance, wishing them both the best.
“Praying for you and the entire family… hope he gets better soon,” wrote one Instagram user.
“Prayers for total healing, comfort, and the peace that passes all understanding,” added another.
“Stay strong he’ll be ok,” added a third.
2. She Is Extremely Supportive of Her Soon-to-Be Husband
Rodriguez’s Instagram page is filled with posts of herself wearing her guy’s number proudly at several football games throughout the season.
Not only is Rodriguez a huge Steelers fan, but she has supported her soon-to-be husband in many other ways. For instance, Shazier suffers from alopecia and opened up about his journey in a post for The Player’s Tribune. In that post, Shazier wrote about the fierce love and support that his fiancee has showed him over the years. He wrote about Rodriguez’s response to the social media trolls who constantly make fun of him because he is bald.
“My fiancée, though … That was another story. She would go digging in the comments to see what people were saying, and she took it hard. She just didn’t understand why people would be be so cruel for no reason, and why I wouldn’t want to respond to them. One day, she read something and broke down in tears. And that really took me back to my childhood, when I wasn’t such a vet in the troll game. I tried to make her laugh to calm her down. I was like, ‘Baby, you know I used to have a ’fro right?'” Shazier wrote.
Shazier isn’t shy about giving Rodriguez props. In fact, he often posts about her on social media and is quick to credit her for being “[his] rock.”
“To my best friend, my backbone, my rock, my supporter, my other half and very very soon to be wife. I just wanted to let you and the world know that I love you baby,” he wrote on Instagram back in September.
On Sunday’s AFC Divisional playoff game, Michelle proudly wore a “Shalieve” Steelers shirt, showing support for her man — and for his team. “Shalieve” has become a sort of rallying cry for Pittsburgh, made by combining “Shazier” and “Believe.”
3. She Is Very Close to Shazier’s Son & Spends a lot of Time with Him
Shazier has one son with his ex, Tonika Marie. Over the past couple of years, Shazier has welcomed the idea of Rodriguez having a relationship with his son, Ryan. He often spends time with his mini-me and his wife-to-be, the three spending quality time as a “blended family” on a regular basis.
On Halloween, Rodriguez joined “her boys,” dressing up for some trick-or-treating. Shazier dressed up as Batman, while she dressed as Catwoman, and young Ryan dressed up as a firefighter/Dalmatian.
You can see a photo of their fun-family-Halloween-night below.
4. She Graduated from Texas State University & Works as a Special Education Teacher
Rodriguez is a proud graduate of Texas State University, where she obtained her degree in education. The university offers a masters program in special education.
“The program is respected for comprehensive, rigorous instruction, with both entry-level and advanced studies programs available. Faculty in special education, widely known for research excellence and leadership in their fields, value student mentoring and provide students with opportunities to work together on clinical and field-based research,” reads the program description.
Rodriguez is a licensed special education teacher, according to her Instagram bio.
5. Shazier’s Baby Mama Told Her Off
Earlier this year, Rodriguez posted a sweet message to Shazier’s son, Ryan, on social media.
“Hey I might not really be your mother, but that don’t mean that I don’t really love ya. And even though I married your father that’s not the only reason I’m here for ya. I think you’re beautiful. I think you’re perfect. I know how hard it gets. But I swear it’s worth it…cause what you do…for love. #BlendedFamily. At the end of the day that’s all that matters,” Rodriguez wrote.
It didn’t take long for Shazier’s ex to catch wind of the post and she decided to voice her opinion. She used an account that she and Shazier have set up for their son to respond to Rodriguez.
“This would be nice if you didn’t have my mother blocked. Didn’t tell my father that he should file for full custody JUST so he doesn’t have to pay my mother child support that he told her he wanted to pay her when he came to my mommy’s house after I was born,” Tonika Marie wrote (as her son), according to The Shade Room.
“She claims that Michelle convinced Ryan to uninvited Tonika to their child’s second birthday party all because she wasn’t ‘ready for the stares’ and that she should have more respect for the mother of her future husband’s child. She adds a second comment implying that that’s what Ryan Jr. would say if he was ‘old enough to understand how [she’s] using him as a pawn in [her] game.'”
It appears as though Tonika’s post has been deleted.