As Nick Bosa and his family came to understand the amount of time that it would take the Ohio State defensive end to fully recover after he underwent core muscle surgery in September, it started to become clear that it would not be in Bosa’s best interest to try to return to play any more games for the Buckeyes.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Bosa’s decision to withdraw from Ohio State this week and officially end his college football career was an easy decision for him to make.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Bosa’s father, John, told Eleven Warriors on Tuesday night. “It was hard for him to actually accept that it was over.”
Bosa and his family officially informed Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaching staff on Sunday that he would be leaving the program to focus on his rehabilitation and then train for the 2019 NFL draft, and that wasn’t easy for them to do, either. John Bosa said he flew to Columbus to be a part of that meeting on Sunday because he felt like he owed it to the coaches to talk to them in person.
“It’s very emotional and tough, and I know the coaches had hoped for a different outcome, but they totally understood and I’ll always be forever indebted to those guys for what they did for my sons,” said John, whose son Joey – Nick’s older brother – also played for the Buckeyes from 2013-15. “I’ve trusted both of my sons to that group of coaches, and I can’t thank them enough. I love Coach Meyer and Coach Johnson’s been a mentor to both my sons, and it’s been an amazing run. But unfortunately, it had to come to an end.”
The reason why it had to come to an end, John said, was that Nick had to undergo a bilateral repair of his groin muscle – a surgery that requires a 10- to 12-week recovery before Nick would have been able to return to the field – resulting from a tear that he suffered in the Buckeyes’ third game of the season against TCU, the final game he would play for Ohio State, but also from damage to his groin muscle that he was already dealing with but playing through.
“The first three games of the year … he had some groin pain and he had something happening there,” John said. “He played through that thinking that it wasn’t going to be a major issue. And then when the tear happened, and then when the surgeon went in, he noticed that on the left side, the muscle had some fraying, which means that that’s not a one-incident injury.”
With the time needed for his recovery, Bosa would have only been able to return for Ohio State’s bowl game or College Football Playoff game(s), and he and his family ultimately determined that it was not worth it to try to come back to potentially play in just one more collegiate game, having already made the decision to declare for the 2019 NFL draft even before his injury.
“The timeframe, we started to look at it, and it just wasn’t going to make sense for him to even try and come back,” John said. “And it would be in a situation where it was a bowl game or a playoff game, and that’s just not, it’s just not something that you’re going to risk having to try and come back for that date. So when you stripped away the emotion, then we understood and I knew as a dad what’s best for my son. And he came to the same conclusion on his own. And then we as a family discussed it, Joey and the doctors and his mom, and we all knew.”
“It was hard for him to actually accept that it was over.”– John Bosa on HIS SON's decision to leave Ohio State
John Bosa acknowledged that he came to that conclusion before his son did, and said he made his opinion clear to his son that he did not think he should try to return to the field for the Buckeyes, though he wanted Nick to also come to that conclusion himself. But while it took Nick longer to come to the decision that he ultimately gave to Meyer this past weekend, it wasn’t easy for John, either, to see his son’s Ohio State career end the way it did.
“The year that he was on plane to have was going to be an epic, historical year, and it just broke my heart that it was going to be over,” John said. “And I’ll be honest with you, the first couple weeks, I was kind of mourning the situation. I was so sad, and so broken-hearted, that it takes a little bit of time to really have the conversations with the doctors, understand what’s involved in the rehab.”
Now, though, Nick’s time at Ohio State is officially over, which will allow him to focus fully on rehabilitating from his injury, then beginning to train for his pre-draft workouts once he is back to 100 percent. Nick is currently rehabbing at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, where his surgery was performed by core muscle specialist William C. Meyers, but will soon join his brother Joey in Los Angeles, where he will both complete his rehabilitation and begin his combine training.
“It’s just a matter of concentrating on what he needs to do, and his priority now is to get him 100 percent healthy, so that’s what we felt was the best option,” John said.