COLUMBUS — Joey Bosa calls himself @jbbigbear on Twitter. Sometimes it must feel like the football equivalent of wrestling a grizzly for the offensive linemen who have to try to block him and the quarterbacks who try to run away from him.
The 6-foot, 5-inch, 280-pound sophomore defensive end has been college ready since the day he arrived at Ohio State.
It wasn’t long after he got on the field that it became apparent he was not a typical freshman.
He started 10 games last season and had 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses. This season, he leads OSU with 2.5 sacks and has caused three fumbles, all of which led to points being scored.
One teammate, Armani Reeves, calls him “a freak.” Another teammate, Darron Lee, says, “If you don’t account for him, you’re going to be in for a long night.”
Lee was a direct beneficiary of Bosa’s ability to put pressure on a quarterback when he intercepted a pass by Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown when Bosa put a big rush on him.
Head coach Urban Meyer says he knew when Bosa arrived at OSU he would be ahead of most freshmen, but he was surprised how fast he became the Buckeyes’ best defensive lineman and maybe one of their best in recent years.
The closest comparison among recent OSU defensive linemen is probably Will Smith, the best player on Ohio State’s defensive line on the 2002 national champions and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2003. He went on to become a first-round NFL draft choice by the New Orleans Saints.
It would not be a surprise to see Bosa become a first rounder either in 2016 or 2017. His dad John Bosa and his uncle, former Buckeye Eric Kumerow, were NFL first-round draft choices.