Nick Bosa Ready for More Opportunities in 2018

Nick Bosa Alex Hornibrook Big Ten Football


The college football season is over for everybody, save for Georgia and Alabama, which means that underclassmen are in the midst of announcing their intentions to stay in school or declare for the NFL Draft.

One of those underclassmen who is good enough to go but can’t yet leave is Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. Bosa was named a First-Team All-American this past season as a sophomore, just as his brother Joey was in 2014.

Nick Bosa finished second in the Big Ten with 8.5 sacks this season despite splitting reps with three other future NFL defensive ends. Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, and Sam Hubbard will all be playing in the pros next year, and Bosa believes if he was eligible to enter the draft, he would be ready as well.

“I think I would, but an extra year of development is really important,” he said. “I think I’ll be a lot more ready next year.”

And for as much fun as he had this season, it’s the thought of next season that really gets Bosa excited.

Every Buckeye on the defensive line happily rotates with their teammates, but each of them would also like to play more. With three defensive ends leaving and only three returning, there is an opportunity for Bosa to finally get the number of snaps that he has been longing for.

“I’m going to get a lot of reps,” he said. “I want to play every meaningful play in the game, and I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Along with those reps, however, comes more responsibility. The Buckeyes are losing three captains in Holmes, Hubbard, and Lewis, and just as important as the slack that Bosa will pick up in reps is the leadership that he will need to provide as well.

As a freshman and sophomore, Bosa could simply lead by example because there were enough captains around him to do the talking. With Bosa now the experienced upperclassman among a sea of inexperienced teammates, he realizes that he has to change his leadership style.

“I’ll have to be more vocal next year,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot of young guys and a lot guys who haven’t played in the games yet, so I think I lead by example already but just taking the vocal role, just pushing guys. I’ve already gotten with Chase a lot, trying to help him out. So, yeah, just getting a lot more vocal is going to be important.”

While growing as a leader, he also plans to grow as a player. The example that his brother has set for him well before Ohio State has always been a tremendous blueprint for success, and Nick Bosa continues to follow it to this day.

“I’m not even close to where I could be,” he said. “Just every day I’m looking for something to get better. I watched film on Joey. He went from freshman year, I watched his freshman, sophomore, junior film and the biggest jump he made was the year from sophomore to junior year. His stats weren’t the same, obviously, because he was getting triple-teamed and everybody knew who he was, but the jump he made as a player is why he’s doing what he’s doing right now.”

Nick Bosa is looking for that same jump, and just like when he rushes the passer, he is very likely going to end up exactly where he wants to be.


4 Responses

  1. I have said it for 2 years, Bosa should play every down unless he asks to come out. He is being wasted. Why would you split reps with somebody who is not as good as you? If he gets tired he can ask to come out.

    1. First of all, he would not ask to come out unless he was injured.

      Second, rotating defensive lineman provided a true nightmare for our opponents (I bet the USC offensive line is still having such nightmares). We had 8 to 10 guys we could rotate in constantly, while the offensive lineman on the other side of the ball played every down and got progressively more tired. Meanwhile, each of our defensive line players was essentially “fresh and rested” the entire game. Although this is not a recipe for big individual stats, it is clear that the Buckeyes had one of the best, if not the best, defensive front in the country, and they often were able to live in the opponent’s backfield, such as in the Cotton Bowl. Being able to do that was a luxury that rarely presents itself, and it would have been foolish to not take advantage of the opportunity.

      He is due to get more reps next year, since we are losing some great talent in that group. That said, as the article alluded to, his stats may not go up substantially, since there will be more opportunities to double team him.

    1. Thank goodness that other thing was just a bad dream.

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