Joey Bosa's One-Game Suspension Could Turn Him Into A Better Leader for Ohio State

By Eric Seger on July 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Joey Bosa and Sam Hubbard at Friday Night Lights.

CHICAGO — For someone widely known as one of the best players in the realm of college football, Joey Bosa's a pretty laid back guy.

He tweets about playing video games and listening to electronic dance music. He has a trademark sack celebration to further establish him as a person with a chill personality. He knows what he likes and he isn't afraid to express it.

On the football field, however, Bosa's ability to terrorize offensive linemen and quarterbacks helped him become a unanimous All-American as a sophomore in 2014.

The mean streak that aided his rise to stardom at Ohio State is something he means to reside for Saturday afternoons between the lines. When he learned he would be missing the Ohio State's season opener due to suspension for violating Department of Athletics policy, though, he (obviously) was less than pleased.

"It was awful. Awful," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Thursday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place at Big Ten Media Days. "It's a policy violation. Upset with the situation, with himself."

Meyer didn't elaborate on what exactly Bosa did in the immediate moments following the revelation, but anyone with an imagination can come up with something fairly detailed on their own.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and I think Joey Bosa's going to step up and lead that team in his own way. He's a different man since that happened. We'll see. That's all to be determined."– Urban Meyer

Naturally, Bosa wants to play with his best friends in Blacksburg, Va., Sept. 7 to enact revenge against the Virginia Tech team that beat them last season in Ohio Stadium.

Instead, the All-American defensive end will have to see if the Buckeyes can start the season 1-0 from afar. His absence is sure to be sorely missed, mainly because he was one of two returning starters on Larry Johnson's unit, along with senior Adolphus Washington.

The impact of a player with Bosa' caliber cannot be overstated, but Meyer believes he'll take it head on.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and I think Joey Bosa's going to step up and lead that team in his own way. He's a different man since that happened," Meyer said. "We'll see. That's all to be determined."

Ohio State fall camp kicks off Aug. 10, with many intriguing storylines circling Columbus already — it's hard to keep them out with the team that won the first-ever College Football Playoff residing there.

But the development of the Buckeye defensive line in Bosa's absence will continue to rear its ugly head until he returns for the home opener Sept. 12 against Hawaii. Bosa's success on the field makes turns him into a leader as a junior, even more so with the graduation of Michael Bennett and Steve Miller up front. It's crucial for him to serve as a mentor for younger players like Sam Hubbard, Darius Slade and others.

Ohio State needs him to do what Meyer think she will do — step up and be more vocal, more demanding of his teammates and even more dominant. It needs him to be a leader in every sense of the word, a silver lining to come from the suspension.

"I think he’s definitely making that change," Washington said Thursday. "He’s already, he’s had eyes on him since he was a freshman. He definitely knows he has to change and that all eyes will be on him at all times."

So while he's seen as a bit of a jokester with his easy-going, fun-loving personality all wrapped up in a beastly frame, Bosa must be even better than he was last season.

Especially when it comes to leadership while he rides the pine for the first game of the team's title defense.

And, according to Meyer, he's well on his way.

"Laser-like focus," Meyer said. "I went out to our conditioning test the other day and watched it. Not sure I've seen too many human beings do what I saw him do."

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