Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states and many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series.
Today, we’ll examine Nick Bosa, who has some big shoes to fill in Columbus.
Who is Nick Bosa?
The highest-ranked player in Ohio State’s fourth-ranked 2016 signing class, Nick Bosa is – as you likely guessed – the younger brother of former Buckeyes defensive end Joey Bosa, now of the San Diego Chargers.
- Height: 6-foot-4
- Weight: 265
- Number: 97
- Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- High School: St. Thomas Aquinas
- Composite Ranking: 1 (Strongside DE)
- High School Highlights
The youngest Bosa, Nick was offered by the Buckeyes during his freshman year of high school and although his brother had already been committed to Ohio State, it was Nick who grew up rooting for the Buckeyes. The country’s top-ranked defensive end in 2016, Bosa selected Ohio State over Florida State in July 2015, though there was not much of a fight from the Seminoles or any other school.
Perhaps the nation’s quietest 5-star prospect, Bosa did not participate in the national camp scene, choosing instead to focus on his final season at St. Thomas. Unfortunately, a knee injury in October derailed his senior year and kept him from participating in the Under-Armour All-American game. He enrolled at Ohio State in June with the majority of the Buckeyes freshman class.
What does he bring to Ohio State?
What Nick Bosa brings to Ohio State? A heaping pile of talent and expectation.
On the field, Nick isn’t Joey – so don’t expect him to be – but he’s a spectacularly talented athlete with winning genetics. What differentiates him from his first-round pick brother? This Bosa isn’t as long, but he’s stronger than his brother at the same point of his career. Where Joey is/was an explosive pass-rusher with elite athleticism to get around the edge, Nick excels with brute strength and a dynamite first step.
“He is much more mature than Joey was when we first got him,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said during the Big Ten’s media days in Chicago. “Joey is a freak of nature, I still don’t know if we have that yet, but I will see pretty soon.”
Nick will wear No. 97 like Joey. Nick walks like Joey, talks like Joey, but Nick isn’t Joey. Yes, they are very similar – Buckeyes center Pat Elflein said they were the “same person” when asked about him in Chicago – but they are different. Nick has a bit more on outgoing personality than his occasionally reclusive big brother, but if you’re a Buckeyes fan who wasn’t ready to lose No. 97 in scarlet, you should see enough from Nick to sate that desire.
Will he play as a freshman?
If you’re listening to Urban Meyer — and you should, since he’s the guy in charge — there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that Nick Bosa will see the field this fall, even after his knee injury. He’s close to 100 percent and because of that, the optimism from the Buckeyes is palpable. There’s a learning curve for any freshman, but Bosa’s will be shorter than most and he’s expected to contribute now, either as a defensive end or a defensive tackle.
“I hate to use the word patience,” Meyer said during Sunday’s media day in Columbus. “I’ll never forget when I sent the text message to the Bosa family — John, Cheryl, and Joey — about Nick. Joey hit me back on a little group text and said, ‘have patience’ and I simply said ‘no.’
“But we are being very patient with him. He hasn’t been in full scrimmage situations yet. We’re making sure that knee’s 100 percent sound, and which it is. And so we’re just easing him in. He comes from an excellent high school program, very well-coached, and he’ll be game ready.”