Urban Meyer, Ohio State Expecting Immediate Impact From Freshman Nick Bosa

By Tim Shoemaker on July 31, 2016 at 7:45 am
Nick Bosa

A No. 97 jersey with the last name Bosa stitched across the back will be worn inside Ohio Stadium again this fall. It’s just not going to be donned by the same person Ohio State fans are accustomed to seeing.

Nick Bosa is the one carrying on his family’s name, taking over for older brother Joey, who left early for the NFL Draft following the 2015 season after becoming one of the best defensive players in school history. Joey was selected third overall by the San Diego Chargers — the first of five first-round picks from the Buckeyes' 2015 team.

The comparisons between the two Bosa brothers will be there, of course, and perhaps they’re warranted.

“He’s pretty much just like Joey is,” Ohio State senior center Pat Elflein said of the younger Bosa. “Walks, talks, acts like him.”

Fair or unfair, on-field expectations will be there, as well. Nick Bosa will almost always be compared to his older brother. And as Joey Bosa recorded 26 career sacks and 51 tackles for loss, that’s a lot of pressure for someone to come in and match those numbers.

Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer says he doesn’t see that pressure as an issue yet, however.

“I’ve been with him a lot during the summer, the last three weeks, and I don’t feel it,” Meyer said. “I’m very appreciative of him, Mickey Marotti is with him every day. Non-issue.”

“All I see in him is his brother. I kind of feel bad for him because he gets compared to his brother so much, but that’s not a bad comparison if you ask me.”– Raekwon McMillan

Like his brother, the younger Bosa was a highly-touted recruit coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was ranked as the nation’s No. 8-overall prospect and was listed as the No. 1 defensive end in the country. Those rankings are both slightly higher than Joey coming out of high school.

As a senior, though, Nick suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. He was expected to be 100 percent healthy by the time fall camp rolled around for the Buckeyes, though, and Meyer said at Big Ten Media Days that’s exactly the case. Bosa is ready to go.

“Can’t wait,” Meyer said. “Larry Johnson is the one that I’ve got to calm down.”

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Nick Bosa is slightly shorter than Joey was coming out of high school. He’s coming in as a defensive end, but, in the spring, Johnson did not rule out a move to defensive tackle at some point in his career. Right now, though, Meyer said he figures Bosa will be in the rotation with fellow defensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes.

“He’s much more mature than Joey was when we first got him,” Meyer said. “But Joey was a freak of nature and I still don’t know if we have that yet; I’ll see pretty soon. But his maturity level and ability to just communicate and all that — he’s a very mature person.”

So, another No. 97 will be on the field this fall for the Buckeyes, harassing opposing quarterbacks. Who knows, maybe even the signature Bosa shrug will continue for three or four more years?

Nick Bosa will certainly try to forge his own path throughout the course of his Ohio State career, but, for now, the comparisons will be there.

"All I see in him is his brother,” Buckeyes linebacker Raekwon McMillan said. “I kind of feel bad for him because he gets compared to his brother so much, but that’s not a bad comparison if you ask me.”

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