Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa decided to withdraw from school and focus on preparing for the NFL Draft. Like it or not this is the right decision.
Nick Bosa suffered what is now a season-ending injury to his lower abdomen. The injury required surgery and if he were to come back it would not be until December. That is at least what the expectations were post-surgery. The problem with that is the regular season ends in November. The Big 10 Championship Game is December 1st. Even if Bosa were to recover his performance in that game would not be up to the level everyone expects. If Ohio State makes the College Football Playoff chances are Bosa would not be 100 percent ready either.
Even though people want to criticize his decision to leave school and “abandon his team”, it is still the right move. Bosa is not the first person to go this route and he will not be the last. Players who are injured have gone down this road before and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It is common practice in college football now.
Avoiding an unnecessary injury is priority number one
Many players have suffered unnecessary injuries in games that do not matter. While Ohio State’s fate in regards to the playoff is not yet known, coming back too early from an injury could result in another more serious injury and causing even more problems. Even if Bosa were to avoid an injury he could perform poorly due to the injury and this could impact his draft stock. This is the last thing Bosa wants or needs.
Jaylon Smith (now of the Dallas Cowboys), suffered a career-altering injury against Ohio State in his final game of his career at Notre Dame. Smith went from a top prospect to being drafted in the second round. Smith tore his ACL and LCL and many wondered if he would ever play again. Luckily for Smith he has recovered and is playing at a high level. However Smith missed his entire rookie season because of the injury. The injury impacted his draft stock, the money he made and potential future contracts in free agency. Even though he has recovered from his injury, the injury will always be a talking point in regards to his future. Smith’s injury is now a warning for players who are top prospects playing for teams not in the College Football Playoff.
At this point in his career it is all about the draft
Nick Bosa is considered to be one of the best prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft. Coming off an injury Bosa is best served ensuring he is healthy and ready to prepare for the NFL Combine and his pro day. Bosa needs to ensure that he puts together a good performance in front of his potential future team. Bosa’s performance at the combine and his pro day could alter his draft stock. If Bosa were to perform poorly his draft stock could drop (even though that is not very likely). If Bosa performs better than expected it can cement his status as a top draft prospect.
While it is understandable that Buckeye fans are upset at this decision they need to realize the bigger picture. Players come to Ohio State as part of the process to get to the NFL. The time a player spends in Columbus should only be a small part of their future career as a professional football player. It is perfectly fine to cherish their time in an Ohio State uniform but the reality is they have much larger ambitions for their careers. The career of a player does not end when they leave Ohio State, in fact if everything goes well they have a long career in the NFL. If leaving early enables a player to have a long career after college that decision should be respected. It is about the next 10 to 15 years, not a handful of games.