COLUMBUS — Ohio State has already experienced life without Nick Bosa.
Now the Buckeyes just know that’s the way it’s going to be for the rest of the season, and they certainly aren’t holding the superstar defensive end’s decision to move on early to the NFL against him.
Word spread quickly around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday that Bosa had elected to withdraw from school and focus on his draft preparations while rehabbing from the core-muscle surgery he underwent in September. And while there had been optimism around the program that Bosa could return down the stretch to help the Buckeyes compete for a Big Ten championship and a bid into the College Football Playoff, that has been definitively been doused.
“Oh man, that’s my brother,” safety Jordan Fuller said. “He’s still our captain, and he just made the best decision for him. I’m proud of him for making it, because I know it’s definitely not easy. He’s definitely got to be selfish in a way in this moment, but that’s still our brother, that’s still our captain. I’m happy for him.
“We have just been focusing week to week, we weren’t thinking long term. But we didn’t have Nick for these past few weeks, we knew that and we were just focused on who was in the game. Not much changes.”
If there’s any silver lining to not having the most dominant defensive player in the country returning, it’s the experience the Buckeyes already have over the last four games dealing with his absence. And there’s now some clarity that Ohio State is going to have to straighten out any of the recent issues giving up big plays without relying on Bosa to return and solve them.
Certainly not having Bosa to lead the pass rush is a significant blow for a team with national-title aspirations, and the problems have been compounded by other injuries for the Rushmen unit that has left it at times without the entire starting rotation. But there’s nothing Ohio State can do about the one that knocked Bosa out in Week Three against TCU and ultimately led him to the decision to move on from the program.
“He’s a great player,” defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “It’s tough for everybody, including Nick. But that’s kind of life in sports. You have to go and move on and play with who you have. You know, there are decisions that are made, everyone has to make decisions that are the best decision for them. I don’t think that it’s anything new. We’ve seen it happen in the last few years, and it won’t be the last time you see it happen.
“Nick, I love him, loved coaching him, he’s a fantastic player — one of the best I’ve ever coached. He’s going to heal up and be a great player at the next level.”
His move there came earlier than anybody at Ohio State expected. But it also didn’t appear to come as much of a surprise for the Buckeyes, who are now living in a post-Bosa world.
Ohio State players and coaches met with the media after practice on Tuesday night to talk about Nick Bosa, recap the win over Minnesota and look ahead to the trip to Purdue on Saturday. Video interviews with safety Jordan Fuller, wide receiver K.J. Hill, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, offensive coordinator Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano are available below. Full interviews are also always posted on the Lettermen Row YouTube channel.