Ohio State announced Tuesday All-American junior defensive end Nick Bosa will not return to the football program and instead will focus on rehabilitating a torn core muscle suffered against TCU on Sept. 15 and surgically repaired on Sept. 20 prior to the 2019 NFL Draft.
In Tuesday’s Big Ten Teleconference, head coach Urban Meyer said the conversation he had with Bosa and his family was “emotional,” praising him as a “first-class guy.”
However, this decision was something Meyer was not shocked by.
“I was hopeful, like all of us were,” Meyer said. “But I can’t say I was that surprised.”
In the first three games of the 2018 season, Bosa recorded 14 tackles with six tackles for loss, including four sacks, which ties him with sophomore defensive end Chase Young for second most on the team.
In his career, Bosa was named as the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2017, leading Ohio State with 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Meyer said in the teleconference he has yet to talk with his players about Bosa’s decision and was still “debating” it with his coaching staff. The head coach also said he was not sure whether Bosa would stay around the program after withdrawing from the university.
With Bosa having been sidelined since Sept. 15, Meyer said the defensive line has played well without him.
“Obviously, you take one of the best players in college football out and that’s an issue, but overall, I think they have played pretty good,” Meyer said.
Moving forward, Meyer said the defensive line will have to be productive with the players it has in the locker room.
“You wish Tyreke Smith, who is a very talented guy, was a little more established and experienced, but he is getting better every week,” Meyer said. “Obviously you have [Jonathon] Cooper, Chase Young, Jashon Cornell and Tyler Friday as the other guys right now.”
Meyer was not sure as to whether Bosa’s decision would become a trend for injured players in similar situations. However, this is something Ohio State has recently experienced before.
Former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward decided to sit out Ohio State’s Cotton Bowl appearance against USC last season to avoid injury.
For Meyer, he understands decisions like this.
“I certainly understand and we support, especially when you are talking about two high character classy people,” Meyer said. “It’s just something you have to deal with and move forward.”