Joey and Nick Bosa are connected in so many ways. The brothers went to the same high school and the same college. They play the same position and dominate that position like few others.
Now they will both have trees in Buckeye Grove — right next to each other, of course.
“We already have a spot,” Nick said Friday. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Since 1934, the Ohio State Buckeyes have planted Buckeye trees in honor of players who earn first-team All-American honors. The Buckeye Grove is located just southwest of Ohio Stadium.
Joey Bosa, now in his second season with the San Diego Chargers, was a two-time unanimous All-American in 2014 and 2015. His younger brother Nick started his college career in 2016 and earned an All-American honor from the American Football Coaches Association this month.
Nick Bosa also won the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, a sign that everyone took notice of his performance and not necessarily his stats. Ohio State played a deep rotation on the defensive line, limiting snaps for Bosa and everyone else. Bosa has 28 tackles, six sacks and 12½ tackles for a loss in 13 games.
“I just think none of us really got as many reps as other players did across the country, but we made the most of our reps,” Bosa said. “Going against our offensive line is what really allowed me to be good. They don’t go easy on you any day. they force you to find new ways to get better every single day.”
After playing in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29, Bosa will enter his junior season with the opportunity to put up bigger numbers. The defensive line loses Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Tracy Sprinkle and potentially Dre’Mont Jones and Sam Hubbard, two players who could leave early for the NFL Draft.
Bosa will be the star of the defense next year, though you could argue he was this year. He said he would be ready for the NFL this season if true sophomores were allowed to enter the draft, but an extra year of development will help. He’ll be even more ready next year, he said.
Joey Bosa entered the draft after his junior year and was the No. 3 overall pick.
“I’m not even close to where I could be,” Nick said. “Every day I’m looking for some way to get better. I watched film on Joey. I watched his freshman, sophomore and junior film, and the biggest jump he made was 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.”
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Nick expects similar treatment next year.
“I’m sure they’ll be there,” he said, “but with (Jonathon Cooper) and Chase (Young) on the other side, and Dre’Mont hopefully coming back and (Robert Landers) inside, it’ll be tough to double team anyone.”
Bosa looks forward to getting more snaps next season. He doesn’t expect Ohio State will play as many defensive linemen.
“I want to play every meaningful play in the game,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do that. I’ve gotten everything I wanted personally. Seeing the success of my teammates is even better.”
Ohio State vs. Southern California, 8:30 p.m., Dec. 29, ESPN, 1410