Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa will not return to the Buckeyes this season. Instead, he intends to turn his focus to what was already his inevitable next step: the 2019 NFL Draft. Ohio State confirmed as much in a release on Tuesday.
"I was hopeful that Nick would be able to return to play again for us," 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."
Bosa's status has been somewhat up in the air since he suffered a core injury during Ohio State's Week 3 win over TCU. He underwent surgery for the injury the following week in Philadelphia and was ruled out indefinitely by Meyer. However, Bosa's parents indicated their son would be out until at least November so that his injury could be reevaluated and his next step (i.e. whether to return to the field or focus on the upcoming draft) could be discussed.
The Bosa family apparently didn't even need that long to decide on Nick's future. Bosa met with Meyer and members of the Buckeyes staff over the weekend to inform them of the decision.
The decision does not come as a huge shock. Bosa is projected by CBS Sports' latest mock draft as the No. 2 overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts. While that can and perhaps will change some between now and next spring's draft, the big picture is that Bosa is widely believed to be one of the best players available despite his injury. Based on recent rookie contracts and financial projections, that would put Bosa in the neighborhood of $30 million in his first league deal.
Nick's older brother, Joey, himself a former Buckeyes edge rusher, was the No. 3 overall pick in 2016 and signed a four-year rookie deal worth nearly $26 million.
While Bosa reportedly initially wanted to return to Ohio State to finish this season, no one can blame him for shutting things down to protect his future financial interests. Bosa had three sacks through three games this season, a number that still stands as second-best on the defense.