Throughout the history of college football only one defensive player has won the Heisman Trophy. That of course was defensive back Charles Woodson, who won it for the Michigan Wolverines back in 1997.
The star defensive back upset Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning and Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf to win the award. Woodson accumulated 433 first-place votes, which was enough to separate him from Manning who only accumulated 281 first-place votes.
Defensive players winning the Heisman Trophy is nearly an impossible feat, but in recent history some defensive players have been invited to the ceremony. Two names that specifically come to mind are Nebraska nose tackle Ndamukong Suh and LSU safety Tyrann Mathieu. Both players had stellar seasons but ultimately lost to offensive players.
Specifically, Suh stands out because he played on the defensive line, the same unit where Nick Bosa also plays. In 2009, Suh was the most dominant player in college football. However, in 2014, Joey Bosa nearly had an identical season when it came to stats. Joey is, of course, the older brother of Nick. Let’s see how Joey’s best season compared to Suh’s best season.
In 2014, Joey Bosa put up numbers on par with a 2009 Heisman finalist. Although Bosa did not get invited to the ceremony, he ultimately got the last laugh as he and the Ohio State Buckeyes would go on and win the 2015 National Championship.
Now a junior at Ohio State, Nick Bosa has a chance to do something special if he can piece together his best season yet. According to his brother Joey, Nick is even better than he, himself, was in college.
“He’s an absolute monster. I think he’s light years ahead of any spot I ever got to in college,” Joey said.
If Nick Bosa can put together a career season he could become the second defensive player to win the Heisman.
People already believe he is the best player right now:
Bosa is seen by many NFL scouts as the best prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft. If he is the potential No. 1 overall pick he is certainly already seen as on of the top players in college. When Charles Woodson won the award it was because he was the best football player, the committee wasn’t mesmerized by video game stats. This sense that Bosa is already the top player in the country is crucial as he doesn’t have a mountain to climb in order to impress voters.
Essentially, the Bosa’s are the Manning’s of defense. The Bosa brothers are already etched into Ohio State lore. Joey Bosa’s dominance in college has certainly made it a lot easier for Nick to gain national attention quicker than most. On top of that, his father, John Bosa, was a first-round pick in the 1987 NFL Draft .
Nick Bosa is offically a household name around the college football nation that even the most casual fan would certainly know at this point. When Tyrann Mathieu was a finalist for the award in 2011, he gained national attention with “The Honey Badger” moniker. In Nick’s case he comes from a family of dominant defensive line players. His name recognition is certainly why he has already been featured on the cover of college football magazines this off-season.
He’s in a great situation:
A team’s record certainly helps a Heisman candidate, and Ohio State is expected to be one of the top teams in 2018.
Nick Bosa enters the 2018 campaign in prime position to dominate any player he faces. The Ohio State defensive line lost a ton of talent to the 2018 NFL Draft, forcing Bosa to do a lot more this season. Bosa will have an opportunity to lead an Ohio State defensive line that should dominate the Big Ten.
With one of the best defensive line coaches in the country in Larry Johnson and sophomore defensive end Chase Young on the opposite side, Bosa should dominate for the Buckeyes. Expect Bosa to put up career bests in sacks and tackles-for-loss this season.
Ultimately, heading into the 2018 season, many experts believe Ohio State’s Nick Bosa may be the most talented player in the country at his position. Bosa enters this season miles ahead of recent defenders who were invited to the Heisman ceremony. If he produces in 2018 it seems he could possibly become the second defensive player to win the award.