The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
When Joey Bosa was a freshman at Ohio State, fighting his way into the lineup for the Buckeyes, Nick Bosa was entering his sophomore season at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) already possessing the scholarship offer most people believed he'd accept.
The Bosa File
- Class 2016
- Position DE
- Size 6-4/265
- School St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
- Composite ★★★★★
- Rank 1 (SDE)
Offered by the Buckeyes as a freshman in high school, Nick's frame is different than his Buckeye brother's but his potential was identified as similar early on.
"Nick Bosa is capable of shedding blocks, as he displayed against some of the top lineman in Sunday's camp," 11W wrote two and a half years ago. "While he said that he needs to work on his pass rushing, his athleticism has already displayed itself while tracking down ball carriers, and in coverage."
Although Joey was the first Bosa to play for the Buckeyes, Nick was the one who grew up a Buckeye fan. He joked in the summer of 2013 that it was actually Joey who had some catching up to do.
"I'm sure they do," Bosa joked when it was mentioned that people expected him to follow in his brother's footsteps. "But I've always been the Ohio State fan so he's following me."
The irony of Bosa's path to Columbus, especially in today's "look at me, talk about me" world of high-pressure recruiting, is that Bosa's recruitment may have been the most easy to predict of any player in Ohio State's class. Although he waited two more years to make a commitment, everyone seemed to know where Nick would end up in college. While the intrigue around his recruitment may have been limited, the discussion about him was not.
While the Buckeyes were in Florida preparing for the 2014 Orange Bowl, Bosa visited their practices twice, to see his brother (of course) but also to watch more closely how Ohio State prepared and planned, how he'd fit into their defense and to continue developing his relationship with Larry Johnson, Sr., the man who will coach him in college.
Bosa may have been a lock for Ohio State according to most, but people close to St. Thomas Aquinas and the Bosa family suggested that Florida State had made a push. The five-star visited Tallahassee in July of 2015 but the trip north wasn't enough and the day before Friday Night Lights this past summer, Nick made his commitment to the Buckeyes official.
When you land a player of Bosa's caliber, the reactions alone are worth monitoring. Bosa's peers, friends and future teammates couldn't withhold their excitement.
"(Nick) is a huge addition to our class," fellow commit Jack Wohlabaugh told 11W. "He's a huge addition to our class and makes our already talented defensive line, and our entire class, even better. Him deciding might push others to commit, too."
The pressure of those genes and those expectations are what most people will measure Nick's Ohio State career against.
"Joey was still a bit raw at this stage with all that size and athleticism, Nick is already really well developed and I think is more of a sure thing at this point to be a very, very good player, even if his ceiling isn't as 'high,'" a source told Eleven Warriors at the time of his commitment. "When you consider that Joey could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft next year, that's pretty good."
You know that Bosa is the brother of soon-to-be NFL first-rounder Joey, but some still may not know that Nick is the nephew of former Buckeye and first-rounder Eric Kumerow and the son of former first-rounder John Bosa. Some people are born with good genetics and some people are born with Bosa genetics: those people are rare and fortunately they generally turn out to be Buckeyes.
"Being a member of the Bosa family is like having a cheat code for Madden," Dr. Aloiya Earl wrote in July. "They’ve maxed out all the skill categories. It’s raw, natural, genetic talent. Couple that with the unmatched work ethic that both Joey and Nick have exhibited, and you have unstoppable on-field authority."
As a senior, Bosa once again led his St. Thomas Aquinas team to the Florida state playoffs, but unfortunately, a week after making his official visit to Ohio State in October, he suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgical repairs.
"Nick will be in the best hands possible with the people he's around and will focus on getting better and doing what he has to do," John Bosa told Eleven Warriors in November. "When you're a 270-pound defensive end, even a slight tear isn't something you can play through."
Bosa's recovery is going well, and he's expected to be 100-percent by the time he arrives at Ohio State next June. As Joey was playing his final game with the Buckeyes, a game he was unceremoniously and irrationally ejected from, Nick found the perfect way to let the fans of the Scarlet and Gray know that he was on his way.
"I will finish what you started"
— Nick Bosa (@nbsmallerbear) January 1, 2016