The knee-jerk reaction to the news injured Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa plans to withdraw from school is, ”if he can’t play anyway, why doesn’t he stay and work on getting his degree?”
The answer, quite simply, is because Bosa’s purpose in going to Ohio State was to follow his brother Joey to the National Football League. That’s what I surmise after this afternoon’s announcement Bosa is withdrawing from the university to prepare for the NFL Draft in the spring. Bosa got what he wanted from going to college. Even had he stayed, with his anticipated high draft status, this was his last year regardless.
“I was hopeful that Nick would be able to return to play again for us,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “I know this was an extremely difficult and emotional decision for Nick and his family, and I wish him well as he moves on to get himself 100 percent healthy and ready for his next chapter. I want to thank Nick for the remarkable efforts he gave for this program. He is a first-class young man who we have been honored to coach.”
As a junior, Bosa could have loaded up on extra classes and spent his spare time rehabbing an injured core muscle sustained in a Sept. 15 game against TCU. Bosa, last season’s Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year still has not been cleared for team activities, but Meyer hoped he could play again this season for the No.2-ranked Buckeyes.
After Bosa underwent surgery in late September, his father, John, said he would return to Philadelphia where he had surgery to be re-evaluated ”to assess his readiness” about his NFL future before making a decision. Two weeks prior to the Bosa family’s deadline, the family met with Meyer over the weekend to inform him of their decision.
”It was very emotional,” Meyer said of the meeting in a Big Ten conference call. ”We love Nick. The Bosa family has been awesome for Ohio State and the program.
Nick is a first-class guy.”
Bosa is ranked as the No. 1-ranked prospect on Mel Kiper’s draft prospectsboard. Most draft experts have him going early. The decision for Bosa, who had four sacks and six tackles for losses through three games, boiled down to these options: come back and risk reinjuring himself and risk falling in the draft, or spend seven months rehabbing and getting drafted at full strength.
With the NFL’s rookie scale, the first pick gets the most money and each succeeding pick gets less. If Bosa were to come back and subsequently be injured and fall to late in the first round, the loss could be substantial. For example, the first overall pick of the 2018 draft, Baker Mayfield of Cleveland, signed a contract worth $33,158, 294, but the tenth overall pick, Josh Rosen of Arizona, signed for $17,594,442.
Bosa’s career choice was decided years ago – his father played three years with the Miami Dolphins – and Ohio State was part of his career path. Today’s announcement was simply a business decision.