Joey Bosa Caps Illustrious Ohio State Career With Top-5 NFL Draft Distinction After Initial Touch Of Tension

By Eric Seger on April 29, 2016 at 8:35 am
Joey Bosa is headed to San Diego after initially fearing he'd fall out of the top 10.

CHICAGO — Joey Bosa didn't have to wait long to hear his name called Thursday, but it didn't come without some sweaty palms and a brief bit of uneasiness in his chair in the green room.

"I was hearing Dallas wasn't going to pan out because I was hearing Jalen Ramsey or (Ezekiel Elliott). I was getting nervous," Bosa said. "I was already looking past three. I was like, 'All right, four and on, where am I going to end up?'"

Turns out, the two-time Ohio State All-American defensive end had no reason to sweat.

"He's been the No. 1 guy for a while. Probably since September," San Diego Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said. "In the end it wasn't that hard of a decision for us."

The Chargers got their man with the third overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, grabbing Bosa after Los Angeles and Philadelphia snatched quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz.

A south Florida kid from Fort Lauderdale, the man who calls himself Big Bear is set to begin his professional career in perhaps the best weather city in America.

"Every single day 78 degrees and sunny," Bosa said. "I can't wait to be out on the coast again. Get to go to the beach, get to enjoy the sun, the boat. That's something that's barely even the reason I'm excited. I'm just blessed to get another chance to play football."

Bosa shot to the top of 2016 draft boards after a stellar sophomore season at Ohio State in 2014 where he came within one sack of setting a new school record. His numbers tapered off during his junior campaign, but still dominated the line of scrimmage with his size, length and pure strength.

“Any game you turned on, 97 taking games over.”– Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy

"Any game you turned on, 97 taking games over," Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said Thursday.

But it came as an honest surprise to Bosa. He had been connected with Dallas at No. 4 since the NFL Combine two months ago and never flew to San Diego for an on-site visit with the franchise. The two sides spoke often, but not too much recently.

"It was a huge surprise to me, the best surprise I've ever gotten," Bosa said.

The Chargers play a 3-4 defense. Ohio State uses a 4-3, but deployed Bosa everywhere along its defensive front in his three years in Columbus. He worked diligently to show teams he can drop into coverage and thus fit in a 3-4, but San Diego isn't too worried about the difference in scheme.

"When you talk about 3-4 ends, we're in a four-man front two-thirds of the time," Telesco said. "I think sometimes people forget that while we are a 3-4 defense, it's an active front."

Bosa was plenty active at Ohio State and is ready to do the same thing in San Diego.

"I'm going to do whatever I possibly can to help the team win," Bosa said. "I don't care whether it's nose guard or safety or quarterback. I'm going to do whatever the coaches tell me to do and I'm going to give it everything I possibly can to help the team win."

That's all Bosa knows how to do. And with a fresh haircut and his trademark shrug coming with him, he now knows where he'll do it next season, even if he was caught a tad off guard in landing in San Diego.

"I think of palm trees and sun and beaches," Bosa said of his new home. "And exactly what I want: football."

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