"He's an impact player, and I've never really had a freshman D-lineman (emerge like that)," Meyer said. "It's usually a corner or a receiver or a running back that can step in and play. His future is kind of silly around here if he keeps going."
Bosa is coming off the best game of his young collegiate career. The five-star prospect from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas recorded five tackles and two sacks – his first – during Ohio State's 40-30 victory at Northwestern. The defensive lineman even capped his performance – and the victory – by recovering a fumbled lateral in the end zone on the last play of the game.
"I watched the ball the whole time and said to myself, ‘I'm getting the ball,' " Bosa said. "It was awesome. It was icing on the cake of the win."
Bosa did not join the Buckeyes with any expectations for the season. OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell did, however. Fickell called Bosa very mature for a freshman, both physically and mentally.
"He's come a long way, but when he walked in these doors it's not like he wasn't built ready to go," Fickell said. "He's come a ways, but you never know with a guy coming in. … I had some high expectations when he came in, but you just never know whether they're going to live up to that."
The lofty hopes for Bosa shouldn't be a surprise because of his pedigree. His father, John, was an All-American defensive lineman at Boston College who went on to play in the NFL. While with the Miami Dolphins, John Bosa was teammates former OSU linebacker Eric Kumerow. John went on to meet and marry Cheryl Kumerow, Eric's sister and an Ohio State graduate.
Through the first half of the season, Bosa has made 16 tackles with four for a loss to go with the pair of sacks and fumble recovery he recorded against the Wildcats. With sophomore Adolphus Washington dealing with a nagging injuries, Bosa has emerged as a starter over Ohio State's last four games.
Bosa has fit in well on the field but admitted to still being teased because of his status of a freshman. Even so, he has impressed his older teammates.
"He's done a great job for a freshman D-lineman coming in (and playing)," OSU senior offensive lineman Andrew Norwell said. "He's done a great job getting some pressure and making tackles. He's a playmaker. I like him out there."
Like Bosa, Norwell did not take a redshirt in his first season as a Buckeye. The Cincinnati Anderson product appeared in 11 games as a freshman reserve lineman before moving into a starting role as a sophomore. Norwell said Bosa has what it takes for a freshman to make an early impact.
"You just always have to go, and he has that factor," Norwell. "He always goes. He always grinds. Plus his body is already mature. Obviously he didn't redshirt. He's already strong enough to play, and that's a major thing."