Being born in Massillon, Ohio, and into a rabid football culture, I was one of those babies who was given a football at birth. While watching the energy and excitement of an Oho State vs Michigan football game on television at the age of 14, I began dreaming of playing major college football. My dream was realized when I was offered a full scholarship to play Big Ten football at the University of Michigan while still a junior year in high school.
As a freshman at Michigan, I played in eight games and lettered. In 2000, the middle of my sophomore year, the coaches named me their starter at defensive tackle, where I continued to start for 29 games overall. After graduation, the Detroit Lions signed me as a free agent.
I felt football would make me a successful man. I indulged in all that that lifestyle had to offer - parties, money, risks, attention, and inappropriate relationships. Football and the life style that came with it became a major part of my life. The fame, popularity, power, money and glamour that football provided looked to bring me the happiness I was searching for. However, NONE OF THESE THINGS BROUGHT ME HAPPINESS. I was looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Then God grabbed a hold of my life. I could not run far enough from the consequences of my sin. Those consequences were about to cost me everything and everyone I cared about. That's when I began realizing that TRUE HAPPINESS and FULLFILLMENT only come through Jesus Christ.
When I confessed my sins to God, asked for forgiveness, and accepted Jesus as my Savior my life changed forever. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! He then gave me resolution to the other issues I had in my life and restoration of relationships with those closest to me. Happiness and fulfillment was FINALLY found through Jesus Christ.
It took me a long time to realize these truths and that God had greater things in store for my life. God has great things in store for YOUR life too!! "if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved" - Romans 10:9
Bringing honor and glory to God in everything that I do is a tough thing to do but Jesus says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26 It took me a long time to realize these truths and that God had great things in store for my life. God has great things in store for your life too! Matthew 5:12 reads, “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” I hope to see you there too. Shawn Lazarus
Shawn has been a financial adviser, a juvenile officer, and a business owner since he retired from his playing career. He married his high school sweetheart Molly and since then they have had five children (Olivia, Abram, Ashlyn, Iris, Eden) together and he is heavily involved in the Akron/Canton area community through his local church, TEAM JAM, as Safety City Director each summer in Canal Fulton, and as chaplain of the Akron Rubber Ducks minor league baseball team.
Shawn's Involvement with TEAM JAM is described further in annual Newsletters:
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2014
The "Greater" Movie Trailer
The Mealer Brothers
Local Broadcast video on the Mealer family story
Shawn Lazarus grew up in Canal Fulton, Ohio where he was a highly recruited football player, a state qualifier in wrestling, and state finalist(as a sprinter)in track. After a stellar football career at Michigan, Shawn signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions. During that season a number of events took place that changed his personal life, his career, and his purpose for living.
Canal Fulton Northwest HS
- Football. Wrestling and Track state qualifier.
U. of Michigan Graduate and Football player
- three yr starter
Detroit Lions camp
Owner of "Lazarus on the Rise"
Owner of "C-3 Crew"
Associate Director of TEAM JAM
Married (Molly), Father of 6.
MICHIGAN CAREER 1999-2002
LAZARUS UPDATE/CONTACT INFO
Rivals Team Up Feature
Sculpting a Lineman
Luke 9:23-24 - "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
"I took that same mentality I had on the football field and started applying it for the Lord, and it's really been awesome," - Shawn Lazarus
Read more at www.toledoblade.com
Flashback Quote (from 2002) - This year our defensive mentality is more aggressive. We have a lot more experience, we basically have everyone back. Our defensive line is doing so well this year as far as giving the quarterback pressure. That's where it starts. The defensive line is strong. Shawn Lazarus, Dan Rumishek, they're doing a great job, they're leaders on the defensive line. They're stressing that. They make sure everyone else on the defensive line knows that. It's obvious our defense is doing better.
- Julius Curry, Michigan Safety.