After a Breakout Freshman Campaign, Joey Bosa Figures to Anchor Ohio State's Defensive Line

By Patrick Maks on July 23, 2014 at 1:05p
2014 is shaping up as the year of the Bosa for Ohio State.
54 Comments

It was clear from the beginning Joey Bosa wasn’t going to be an average freshman.

For starters, the Fort Lauderdale native was simply massive upon arriving in Columbus last summer. At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds of solid muscle, Bosa looked the part of an All-American defensive end before playing a single snap of collegiate football.

He did his best to play the part, too. Bosa earned a starting job on an otherwise talented and deep defensive line and finished the season with 44 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

Those are numbers that gave even coach Urban Meyer pause.

“He’s a starting defensive lineman as a true freshman at Ohio State, which is quite a mouthful,” Meyer said in October.

“He’s an impact player and I’ve never really had a freshman defensive lineman (do that).”

Because Bosa wasn’t your average freshman. It’s also abundantly clear now Bosa won’t be an average anything going forward. 

“He’ll be a marked guy,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson said.

“(Teams are) gonna turn protection to him … It’s gonna be a different game than you saw last year because they know who he is.”

That’s the beauty and the curse of success. He’s not another name on the roster or another face in the crowd. 

He’s already been named to the Lombardi and Bednarik award watch lists and the kind of expectations associated with such honors will continue to mount. They were there before, sure. But not quite like this.

“It’s great to get all this attention and everything but it never really affected me. I’m still a freshman, they still pick on me,” Bosa said in April. “I’m still the new kid pretty much.”

But really, Bosa might as well be considered a veteran on a defense that’s undergoing an overhaul after unraveling last season.

He’s going to anchor an Ohio State defensive line that has the potential to be among the best in the country. And the kid's only a sophomore.

The signs of such potential were there last year.

“He doesn't get tired. He's so under control for a young guy. It's like he doesn't get real emotion,” defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said days before losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

“He'll get a sack and probably (his) heart rate goes up to about 95 beats-per-minute, where a similar guy gets a sack and probably his heart rate goes up to about 180. It allows him to continue to be under control, and make a play you don't normally see from a young guy.”

Added Fickell, “He's been around the game, but the ability to control himself emotionally -- control his body -- is something you don't see from a lot of young guys. I mean, I compare him sometimes with Cameron Heyward.

“Cameron Heyward came in and started eight games as a true freshman, started in the national championship game. But different -- much different -- because Cameron was almost an out of control, where just Joey is a much more under control type of guy. Similar size and some things, but different ways as well.”

When you’re drawing comparisons to first-round NFL Draft pick, you’re doing something right.

Of course, a complacent attitude could land Bosa in a slump if he’s not careful.

“I think the key is he doesn’t stay the same. He’s gotta move forward,” Johnson said. “The thing he and I talk about is you gotta forget about last year. It’s about this year.”

And this season, for all intents and purposes, could be the year of Joey Bosa.

“I don’t have a big head,” he said. “I just keep doing what I’m doing.”

It’s served him well so far.

54 Comments

Comments

Ajake15's picture

I love this kid as much as he loves EDM music.

Buster Tillman was underrated

+7 HS
Calgarybuck's picture

Maybe he'll convince Deadmau5 to be a buckeye fan, only a 7 hour drive from Toronto.

+2 HS
WezBuck28's picture

What a beast!! By far one of my favorite grabs by urban..can't wait to see this new defense!

+4 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I would love for opponents to turn protection towards him. Not only do I think he can still succeed, but then that will just allow Spence, Lewis, Bennett and others get one-on-one looks and allow them to be more successful.

This D-line, and the potential of the linebackers, is going to make it hard for any opponent to overload one side. Include the tight coverage by the DBs and someone should get to the QB.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+9 HS
Wesleyburgess1's picture

Adolphus Washington too. This D-line is gonna be pretty darn good this year.

+5 HS
Citrus's picture

I think Diesel is a bit overlooked but injuries have prevented him from demonstrating how good he is. The move inside will serve him well. 
The D-line is going to be downright nasty this year. 

+5 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Exactly what I was thinking, pick your poison. I think any way they attempt to slow him down will fail, he is too good.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+2 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

For offensive lines against our defensive front this year, it will the old "Damned if I do, and damned if I don't" philosophy.

If they slide protection to Joey's side, it frees up Spence to really use his speed on the edge in a one-on-one matchup.  And if they slide to protect Spence's side, Joey blows up most linemen in a one-on-one matchup.  It's a "pick your poison" type of problem.  I just hope all can stay healthy all year long.

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

He'll get a sack and probably (his) heart rate goes up to about 95 beats-per-minute, where a similar guy gets a sack and probably his heart rate goes up to about 180. 

Am I the only one who thinks of Hannibal Lecter after reading this quote?

+8 HS
avail31678's picture

He enjoys his sacks with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

+9 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

After a sack:

"Good evening Devin, it's nice to see you again."

How Firm Thy Friendship

+2 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

Bosa: "Devin, you still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the Wolverines."

+3 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Bosa: "You fly back to school, now, little Gardner. Fly, fly, fly..."

How Firm Thy Friendship

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

Quid-pro-quo, Devinisse...I sack you, you fumble the ball.

Soggy_McMuffin's picture

I ate his Liver with some Fava beans, and a nice Chianti!! Fuhfufufufuh 

Gooz-fra-bah...

+1 HS
CTBuckeye's picture

"I’m still a freshman, they still pick on me."

That's what I love about the family atmosphere that seems to be growing every year within the team, and why the future looks bright for the current squad and recruiting.  You need a really close knit group of guys for a 6-5 270 pound starter to get picked on and take it in stride, while at the same time somehow come out humble from a dominant freshman season.

Looking forward to seeing what Bosa can do this year.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+4 HS
RedStorm45's picture

There's a lot of potential "anchors" on D - Bennett, Washington, Spence when he's back.  But I think Bosa might have the most talent.

+5 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

I hear 'anchor' i see a small boat tossing in the waves on a cable.  I think of our defence and 'Oil Platform' would better describe the image in my minds eye.

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

BuckNutzGasMan's picture

Almost every tOSU D-Line column I read talks about Bennett Spence and Bosa.  While all 3 are outrageous I think we are sleeping a bit on Adolphus.  Freshmen year before his injuries he was CLEARLY better than Spence.  Cant wait to see what he does this year.

+12 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Agree on your assessment of Washington. It seems to me that his career is following a similar path to Bennett's: promising freshman year, injury hampered sophomore campaign, and here comes the breakout season.

+5 HS
bakerjon's picture

Couldn't agree more. If he stays healthy, I think he has a monster year.  He's too quick for interior lineman. His combination of size and power is rare. 

I think Tommy Schutt also has a big year for a backup.  When he was healthy the last 2 years, he's been good. Now that he's over the injuries, it could be his time. With Bennett going to NFL, Schutt will be a monster next year.

Bosa is a beast though. Instead of the summer of George, it's the Autumn of Joey!

"It's all ball bearings these days guys"

jamesrbrown322's picture

Anyone else remember Jason Simmons?

That's the player of which Bosa reminds me most, but with much more speed.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I remember Simmons, though he's probably remembered more for what he did after his playing days (look it up, I don't want to derail the thread).

In football terms, I wouldn't mind seeing Bosa continue what he started last season.

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Oh, I am well aware, and do not wish THAT future off the field for Bosa. I just find their games a bit comparable, and hope that Bosa continues his current trajectory just like you do.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
BierStube's picture
JB is so good, he does not even need to hit the QB in order to get a sack ... sack by awesomeness I would say

But sometimes it is always good to get a lick in or two.

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+16 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Note to Northwestern: somebody should try to block Michael Bennett.

+2 HS
USMC11917's picture

Love Bennett but damn, he looked silly there. Hopefully he makes that tackle every single time this year.

-2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Uh, i think they DID try to block Bennett. Fail.

 

 

+3 HS
funtubs's picture

That first gif is confusing me. Where's the fourth D-Lineman?

InTressITrust's picture

Why rush 4 when you only need 3?

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

+3 HS
KCAlum's picture

I think he got lost in the grass somewhere.

+1 HS
dmiller2345's picture

#8 (Noah Spence) was busy getting held up by the 3 guys from NU that initially missed their blocks on the other 3 DL

"I've got to coach a few of them and I want an angry team, I want a pissed off football team." - Urban F. Meyer

Klytus21's picture

In the 1st .gif, the QB thought he was playing the other football and tried to draw a penalty with that flop.

NJBuck

+3 HS
SuperSloopy405's picture

Easily one of my favorite D-lineman we've had in quite some time, I cant wait to see how much he can really grow under Larry Johnson!

+2 HS
BuckGnome's picture

Probably not realistic to expect Joey to stay for his senior year, but I have dreams of the Bosa brothers playing together on the same line in scarlet and gray.

The Ohio State defensive line, now with double the Bosa.  Just the thought puts a smile on my face!

+5 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

throw in also that Jashon Cornell will be a sophomore at that time, Dante Booker might be moved to DE himself and we are still talking about having so many others backing the Bosa's and Cornell up. Basically Holmes, Darius Slade, Dre'mont Jones and Thompson can play SDE. Michael Hill and Tyquan Lewis too!

and I am not even about to add in Sweat who could easily commit to the good guys! Holy Hell the talent is going to be sick!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+5 HS
cinserious's picture

SEC D-line right here in Big-Ten country!

Even the top 3 or 4 SEC teams would salivate over having that deep of a line.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

+1 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

The Buckeyes, in the next two years, will make people forget about the SEC.

+3 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Football is awesome.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+3 HS
Big Papa's picture

His Uncle is Eric Kumerow who was taken buy the Dolphins in the first rd of 1988 draft one round ahead of Spielman. 

"To be the man you've gotta beat the man and just when you think you have all the answers, I change the question." The Nature Boy, Ric Flair

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Yep - and his dad played pro ball for for Miami too...the force really is strong with this one!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

+1 HS
Athens BuckCat's picture

Man oh man am I excited to see what Joey Big Bear's sophomore campaign has in store!

cinserious's picture

I said it back in May, 2013 and it turned out to be prophetic:

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/blogs/cinserious/joey-bosa-perfect-oos-recruit

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Dougger's picture

This guy is gonna be a top-ten pick. Urban knows it's the trenches that win championships

I like football

+1 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

He is a reincarnation of JJ Watt, only younger (and arguably better).  

-1 HS
BrewstersMillions's picture

No. Not arguably. Now you stop that silliness. JJ Watt is the best defensive lineman in the league right now, a 19 year old with 1 year under his belt isn't that.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

+1 HS
Humbuck's picture

He has Watt-like characteristics. Long, long arms and a nice combo of speed and power.  Watt was a disruptive force at Wisconsin early in his career and Bosa looks like he is on the same trajectory as Watt, might even be ahead of schedule.   Long way to go but he has all of the tools to make it.

Scarier thought: Nick Bosa is considered to be further along than Joey was heading into his JR year.  Imagine how tough this kid is, Joey Bosa doled out the big brother treatment on this kid for years.  

AndyVance's picture

Cue Gluefingers' Nick Bosa stories in 3... 2... 

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

If you mean better at this point in his college career or at the same age...perhaps. But JJ Watt is an animal. I hope & pray Bosa turns out that good!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Young_Turk's picture

What is the over/under for Sacks+Interceptions for our defense this year,  if such a stat exists.  With our killer D line, plus the press coverage I would think our + ratio of turnovers generated will be off the charts.

ScarletGray43157's picture

Offense puts butts in the seats.

Defense wins championships.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+1 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Defense puts butts in the ground. Paper or plastic?

How Firm Thy Friendship

Larryp713's picture

Bosa and Bennett are so fun to watch. If Diesel Washington gets healthy, and Noah Spence comes back from suspension with a fire, which I expect, this will be a scary defensive line. Lot of good guys behind them as well. It is so sad that Marcus isn't around; he would have had some incredible opportunities with all the attention Bennett and Bosa are going to get.

Respectfully,

Larryp713