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Football: Nick Bosa following in footsteps of older brother

Ohio State junior defensive lineman Nick Bosa answers questions from the media at Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Aug. 28, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Nick Bosa faced high expectations before even touching the field at Ohio State.

A five-star prospect ranked No. 8 nationally in the class according to the 24/7 Sports composite rankings, Bosa was already anticipated to be a future star for the Buckeyes on statistics alone.

However, more than any ranking ever did, Bosa’s brother, Joey, a two-time All American, No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, made Nick the most hyped up defensive player that Ohio State has had in recent memory.

In an interview with NFL Network in January, Joey Bosa said he never felt he had to give his younger sibling any tips for the college game.

“He really doesn’t need any help. He’s an absolute monster. I think he’s light years ahead of any spot I ever got to in college,” Joey Bosa said. “Once he gets his full reign this year, people will understand what he’s capable of, which is, it’s going to be pretty scary to watch.”

In his two seasons for the Buckeyes, Nick Bosa, a junior defensive end, has proved worthy of the hype his brother Joey had continued to give.

Now, a season removed from being named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, the expectations are higher than ever.

Nick Bosa has been compared to his brother since his college career began, and his junior season will be no exception.

In Joey Bosa’s final year at Ohio State, he often faced double teams from opponents, lowering his stats from his first-team All-American season in 2014 and allowing for other players on the defensive line to make plays.

When asked if he expects a similar situation this year, Nick Bosa said if teams decide to double-team him, it will be a mistake.

“I think right off the bat, with all the hype that people are making up about me … I’ll probably get the double teams and the chips and stuff like that,” Nick Bosa said. “But once Chase [Young] is coming off the other edge and Dre’Mont [Jones] is on the other side rushing three-tick, if they slide to me, then it’s just going to be a sack.”

Young, a sophomore defensive end, was named a co-starter along with junior Jonathon Cooper, and will be given a chance to take advantage of being on the opposite side of Bosa this season.

In Joey Bosa’s final year for the Buckeyes, both defensive ends Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard found success while Bosa was double-covered, accounting for 14.5 sacks to Bosa’s five.

Nick Bosa could see a similar drop in stats this season, but said it is not a worry in his mind.

“My No. 1 goal is to win a national championship, and, however we get there, I know I’m going to be a contributing factor if I’m out there,” Bosa said. “I’m not dying to get big numbers, I want to make plays and help my team that way.”

Whether or not Nick Bosa gets double-teamed this season, this could be the year that he is in control, after the Buckeyes lost players like Hubbard and Lewis to the NFL Draft this offseason.

With the anticipation higher than ever and the pressure to perform at its peak, Nick Bosa, a newly named captain for Ohio State, is ready to play.

When asked how many snaps he is expecting this season, Bosa kept it simple.

“However many I can handle.”

 

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