At Ohio State, Joey Bosa was a national champion, an All-American and a certified Big Man on Campus. Now, he’s just another NFL prospect.
Of course, that’s oversimplifying things just slightly. The standout defensive end possess the both the physical skills and the pedigree – his dad, maternal grandfather and great uncle all played pro ball – to become a star, meaning that Bosa is more than a mere prospect; he may be the best player in the draft, and appears to be a mortal lock to go in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, which kicks off tomorrow in Chicago.
But the road to the NFL hasn’t always been an easy one. Bosa isn’t afraid to speak his mind – particularly when it comes to his own talents – and his opinions have raised eyebrows among seriously staid NFL scouts. And, of course, there was also that Twitter tirade earlier this year. But he’ll be the first to admit that he’s a work in progress, and as his new endorsement deal with MET-Rx would suggest, there are plenty in the corporate world who believe in him almost as much as he believes in himself.
As he prepares to officially begin his pro career, Bosa spoke to Rolling Stone about surviving the NFL Combine, learning to deal with the media and avoiding Twitter at all costs.
The draft begins Thursday night, and most people think you won’t have to wait very long to hear your name called. Now that this whole process is almost over, what has it been like for you?
It’s been really busy. I’ve been flying all over the place, working out, meeting with teams, watching film. I try to keep a good mindset – I’d much rather be meeting with teams than have nobody flying me out at all. I’m grateful for all of it, so when I’m tired or don’t want to wake up, I try to remember that.
We hear so much about the kinds of questions players get asked at the Combine – what was the weirdest thing an NFL team asked you?
It’s actually been pretty predictable and straightforward. I guess when teams ask me about my great-grandfather, that doesn’t really make much sense to me. But mostly, it’s been talking to head coaches and D-Line coaches, which is awesome. I could sit down and talk about football for hours.
You’ve also just been announced as the new face of sports supplement brand Met-Rx. How does it feel to be an official spokesperson now?
I feel great about it. They love me as an athlete and how I play football, and I love what they stand for. Training goes hand-in-hand with sports nutrition, and using their products has helped me maximize my full potential. The business part of it, well, I pick up stuff pretty quickly.
OK, so what is your favorite flavor of MET-Rx Super Hydrate Sports Drink?
Orange Mango. Me and brother both love it.
What’s on your playlist when you train?
I’m really into the electronic music scene; I love that there’s new music every single day, and I love how it’s upbeat and energetic. But I don’t listen to my music when I work out – my trainer plays rap music really loud. And that’s OK; I try to think about everybody else who’s working out, not just me.
In the lead-up to the draft, you were criticized for saying you were “the best player in the draft” and for being too laid back. How do you think you’ve been treated by the media?
You know, it’s part of the whole deal and I think Ohio State did a great job preparing me for the media. There’s a lot of assumptions of what I’m like, but the media only gets a little taste of it. To be honest, it’s kind of exactly what I was expecting; kind of the same thing over and over. A lot of times, I say what I think – in the case of that “best player” quote, what was I supposed to say? It’s important for a player to have confidence, so when they asked me if I’m the best player in the draft, what am I going to say? No? And with my chill demeanor, that’s better than having a guy who’s always starting things outside of football. It’s who I am; I don’t need to get riled up.
There was an incident when you lashed out at your critics on Twitter – do you regret that?
It was dumb. I was a little stressed at the time, and now I’m off Twitter and Instagram. It’s nothing but trouble and a bunch of people who want to see you fail, so they mess with you on social media. A few teams asked me about it and I told them it was stupid and I deleted it, so now I’m off Twitter. With MetRx and all that, I’ll be tweeting every once in a while, but overall, it’s a really negative thing – there’s no positive to it whatsoever.
What will you be wearing to the draft?
I don’t know who made it, but it’s a suit my agents got me. It’s very simple, shiny and a little fancy for my taste. If I could pick anything I’d go with a black suit and shoes – unfortunately not many designers make shoes in size 14 – or, if it was possible, maybe some sweats and a T-shirt. I do have a nice accessory coming in the mail, though. It’s a watch, but it’s not very flashy. It’s my present to myself.
Since I am Florida Gator who can’t let go of a grudge, can you please say something bad about Urban Meyer?
[Laughs] I can’t do that, I’m sorry – he’s the best guy ever.