Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alabama's Nick Saban Wanted to Recruit Ohio State's Joey Bosa as a 15-Year-Old

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alabama's Nick Saban Wanted to Recruit Ohio State's Joey Bosa as a 15-Year-Old

Article excerpt

Joey Bosa was 15 years old, sitting in the office of Alabama's Nick Saban without a shirt on. He remembers Saban telling someone, "Get the kid a towel."

He was scared, even before Saban pushed a button that automatically closed the door.

He couldn't believe that arguably the nation's premier college football coach was offering him a scholarship. At that point, Bosa was more of a baseball guy, despite the ineptitude that came with it.

"I was a catcher," Bosa said. "I was on such a horrible team my seventh-grade year that I played tennis just so I wouldn't have to play baseball because I hated my team so much."

Yet here was Bosa, a junior-to-be at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., summoned by Saban after a camp in 2010.

"I guess I did well, or Saban can just tell the future or something," Bosa said. "That's probably it.

"It was so shocking to me. I didn't really get it until I walked out of there. Then I was just like, 'Oh, my God, the best team in the country is offering me a scholarship and I haven't played a snap on varsity.' It was weird."

It was his first offer, and Bosa admitted he was star struck. He and his father, John, a defensive end who was a first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1987, went to a Buffalo Wild Wings in Tuscaloosa, Ala., that night and almost accepted. But they elected to fly home and think it over.

Eventually, Bosa's choice came down to Alabama and Ohio State, where Bosa's uncle Eric Kumerow became a standout defensive end and was drafted in the first round by the Dolphins in 1988. OSU coach Urban Meyer mined that connection to land Joey Bosa.

But how did Bosa tell Saban no?

"I didn't. I just didn't tell him yes," Bosa said.

On Thursday night, Bosa and his Ohio State teammates could knock No. 1 Alabama out of the inaugural College Football Playoff. …

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