Any Ohio State fans concerned over how their favorite team would replace Joey Bosa can probably relax a little bit after learning that his brother, Nick, has verbally committed to the Buckeyes. “Just wanted to let everyone know I'm committed to THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY !!!” Bosa tweeted on Thursday.
Nick plays at the same high school, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), where his brother developed into a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American. Allowing for the fact that Rivals.com has not finalized its rankings, Nick—who checks in at No. 17 nationally and No. 2 among strongside defensive ends in the class of 2016—is more highly regarded than Joey was (No. 47 and No. 4, respectively, in the class of 2013). At St. Thomas last season, Nick recorded 56 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and five sacks while helping the Raiders post a 14-1 record and win a state championship.
Though Ohio State had long been considered the team to beat in Bosa’s recruitment, he took visits to Florida and Florida State earlier this month. In the end, neither program could sway Bosa from his conviction to pledge to the program that has helped his brother develop into perhaps the nation’s premier defensive lineman and a projected top-five NFL draft pick. The 6'4", 255-pound Nick Bosa is renowned for his blend of power and quickness, and his coach at St. Thomas, Rocco Casullo, told SI.com last year that “overall [Bosa’s] football knowledge is very advanced for a kid his age.”
Added longtime Florida scout Larry Blustein, “If you don’t double-team him, you sign your death warrant.”
Bosa’s decision elevated Ohio State to the top spot in Rivals.com's 2016 class rankings. Among the other 17 players who have committed to the Buckeyes are five-star running back Kareem Walker and Jake Hausmann, the No. 3 tight end in the country according to Rivals.com. Ohio State also has secured commitments from three other defensive linemen in the class of 2016, including fellow Florida product Malik Barrow. Bosa is the most highly-touted player of the group, and arguably the one with the highest probability of making a big impact in college right away.
Nick’s brother, Joey, is a junior at Ohio State, but there’s a strong chance this will be his final season in Columbus. In its initial 2016 mock draft, SI.com projects Bosa—who earned Sports Illustrated second-team All-America honors last season while leading the Buckeyes to a national championship—to be selected with the No. 3 pick. If he stays for his senior season, one can only imagine the nightmares opposing offensive coordinators would get trying to prepare for two pass rushers who come from the same family and possess many of the same skills.
While landing Bosa was important for Ohio State, the Buckeyes are competing with several other schools for a class of 2016 defensive line prospect regarded even more favorably than Bosa: Paramus Catholic (N.J.) product Rashan Gary.