Ohio State Football: Can Nick Bosa Be Even Better Than Older Brother Joey?

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2016

Bleacher Report, Joe Robbins/Getty Images, 247 Sports

With the legacy left behind by superstar defensive end Joey Bosa, younger brother Nick will have to fight his way out of an enormous shadow when he embarks on his Ohio State career this fall.

Nick, who signed with the Buckeyes on national signing day two weeks ago, is a 5-star standout who ranked eighth nationally and No. 1 at his position for the Class of 2016. He's 6'4" and 265 pounds, has speed that defies his size and strength that makes him an absolute nightmare coming off the edge.

And he has the potential to be even better than his big brother.

That comparison, fair or not, will follow Nick during his entire tenure in Columbus, and it will linger into his professional career if his potential turns into reality.

His new head coach is already lining the two up, according to Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch.

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But high school success doesn't always translate to the collegiate level. So what does Nick have to do to carve a similarly successful path at Ohio State?

Instant Impact

One of the things that made Joey so special was his seamless integration to the collegiate game.

That's the biggest obstacle for incoming freshmen to overcome—a playing field that isn't populated by undersized high school teenagers but men who are of equal stature with professional aspirations. 

Joey Bosa's first start as a Buckeye in 2013.
Joey Bosa's first start as a Buckeye in 2013.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It wasn't too big of a hurdle for Joey, though. He was thoroughly entrenched in Ohio State's defensive line rotation at the start of his freshman season, and by Week 5, he had replaced a former 5-star defensive end (Adolphus Washington) in the Buckeyes' starting lineup.

Can Nick make an immediate impact like his brother?

Meyer expects him to. During his national signing day presser, Ohio State's head coach said that the newest Bosa will see the field right away, according to Patrick Murphy of theozone.net.

That didn't seem likely just a few months ago, when Nick tore his ACL midway through his senior season. But the recovery process has been going well and he's ahead of schedule, and there's a good chance he'll be at full go when fall camp opens.

"He hasn't missed a day a day with the physical therapist three times a week, and he works the upper body three times a week," Nick's father told Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com. "So he's doing great." 

Relentless Effort

There's a difference between being good enough to play as a freshman and relentless enough to be a two-time consensus first-team All-American.

After a solid first year, Joey highlighted that difference with a breakout sophomore campaign. He led the Buckeyes and ranked fourth nationally in sacks (13.5) and fifth in tackles for loss (21) in 2014, which catapulted him to the national stage.

His numbers dipped in 2015 because teams double-teamed (and often triple-teamed) him, but he was still the anchor of a top-10 defense.

Joey just never stopped, whether it was a workout, practice or game day. He always maintained the relentless effort Ohio State demands, and that set him apart from any player Meyer has coached.

"I've been lucky to coach Alex Smith, who was the No. 1 pick, [Tim] Tebow, Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott], the Pounceys, all these great players," Meyer said, according to Stewart Mandel of FoxSports.com. "It's hard for me not to say Joey is not the best I've ever coached or been around.

"He had the unique combination of just incredible power and strength and speed," Meyer said.

Ohio State fans hope to see shades of Joey in younger brother Nick.
Ohio State fans hope to see shades of Joey in younger brother Nick.Credit: 247 Sports

Does Nick have that same mentality? After watching his son start at a national powerhouse high school (St. Thomas Aquinas) from his freshman to senior season and bulldoze through his ACL recovery, Nick's father seems to think so.

"[Nick]'s doing fantastic. Part of it is having the best surgeon in the world, part of it is great genes and part of it is his sick work ethic," Nick's father said, via Wasserman.

That sick work ethic will be the key for Nick to live up to the incredible hype surrounding his soon-to-be Ohio State career. And if it all comes together, there will be another Bosa terrorizing the Big Ten for years to come.

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.