Nick Bosa details injury that cut short his final season at Ohio State

Nick Bosa details injury that cut short his final season at Ohio State

Nick Bosa, pass-rushing from the right edge, went down as he tried to bend around the corner. He immediately knew something was terribly wrong.

Bosa comes from a football family, and football is his passion. He expected great things in what would be his final season at Ohio State. But, in a split second, it was over.

“When it happened, when I got home from that TCU game, I was laying in bed, I could barely get up,” he said of the left groin injury he sustained Sept. 15. “It was one of the darkest moments of my life so far.”

Bosa underwent surgery within a week to repair what his surgeon, Dr. William C. Meyers of Philadelphia, diagnosed as a bilateral core muscle injury.

“It’s a groin, lower abdomen thing,” Bosa said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “He repairs both sides because if you don’t repair both sides, then you risk the other side getting injured. I didn’t feel an injury on the other side, but they go in and clean it up. They stitch it up.”

The injury was particularly difficult to cope with, Bosa said, because it was constantly on his mind and impacted his most routine and mundane activities.

“The toughest part is the beginning,” Bosa said. “It’s such a unique injury in that it’s literally the muscle used to breathe, to cough, to go to the bathroom. It’s your core muscle. It’s something different than what I’ve dealt with before.

“It’s really gradual, small steps. Once you get through it, I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt right now.”

[RELATED: Bosa's power, bend are what 49ers want from edge rusher]

Bosa has returned to 100 percent health and competed in all of the on-field drills at the combine Sunday. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.79 seconds

One month after his surgery, Bosa withdrew from school to begin preparing for the NFL draft, rather than attempt to rush back onto the field too quickly and risk further injury. His spirits began to pick up over time, he said.

“For me to talk to my family and let them bring me up and let me know that my life is still good and I still have amazing blessings and a bright future, that’s what helped me get through it,” Bosa said.

Bosa lived with his brother, Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, in Orange County during the season. He's now back home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he continued his training and draft preparations at a deliberate pace.

“I knew I was going to have plenty of time to just take it slow,” said Bosa, who started jogging approximately two months after the surgery. “It was just a slow process. You break down scar tissue. You feel pops and stuff, which is not fun. You have to get all your flexibility back. Your abs are all mushy. Not fun.”

While his decision to leave Ohio State was seen in some circles as controversial, Bosa said he received full support from his college teammates and coaches, as well as NFL teams that were briefed on the details of his injury, surgery and rehabilitation. Even though Bosa said the decision was his only reasonable option, it still was difficult and agonizing.

“It was the year that I been waiting for my whole career,” said Bosa, who recorded three sacks in the first two-plus games before the injury. “I kind of split reps my freshman and sophomore years. Coming in, I was going to be the guy. I started strong my first three games, and it just got torn away from me. It’s something that I’ll always think back to.”

Bosa was considered the consensus most likely pick for the No. 1 overall spot in the draft for most of the past year. But Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray decided to focus on football over baseball, and the Arizona Cardinals appear to be a serious potential landing spot for Murray to run first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

The odds are better than they’ve ever been that Bosa will be available when the 49ers select at No. 2 overall. The 49ers’ biggest need in the draft is an edge rusher. If the 49ers acquire Bosa, he would be expected to be an every-down defensive end from the moment he arrives in Santa Clara.

[RELATED: Bosa's value goes beyond measurables]

Bosa is confident the particular injury that truncated his dream season no longer will be an issue during his NFL career.

“This is one of the injuries that once you get it fixed, it’s pretty guaranteed to be good,” he said.

Whichever team gets Bosa will add a hungry player. He appeared in just 29 games over parts of his three seasons at Ohio State, recording 17.5 sacks. Bosa did not have the opportunity to show how great he could become at the college level.

Now, he will just have to prove himself in the NFL.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. "I haven’t played football in quite some time."

NFL draft: Five players 49ers can target as Day 2 options on offense, defense


NFL draft: Five players 49ers can target as Day 2 options on offense, defense

The national TV audience will begin to evaporate and the names called will not be as familiar, but Friday will be every bit as important as Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Everybody talks about the first round, but this draft is all about the second, third and fourth rounds,” an NFL West Coast scout told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The depth of this year’s draft makes every team’s selections on Day 2 potentially just as important and impactful as those chosen in the first round.

The 49ers own four picks within the top 104 selections. General manager John Lynch is set to pick at No. 2. After that, the 49ers have scheduled selections at Nos. 36 (second round), 67 (third round) and 104 (fourth round).

Here are some options for the 49ers on Day 2 of the NFL draft:

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

There is something about Samuel’s movements, patience and ability to separate quickly versus man coverage that would seem to be attractive for coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers struggled mightily in the red zone the past two seasons, and Samuel would give the team a boost in that area.

After the 49ers spent a week with him at the Senior Bowl, Samuel was provided a plane ticket to also meet with the 49ers in Santa Clara. New receivers coach Wes Welker had not joined the staff when the club was in Mobile, so Welker was able to spend some quality time with Samuel in the Bay Area.

The 49ers’ pick at No. 36 would be a logical spot at which to target Samuel.

WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Butler is massive. He is 6-5, 227 pounds. He is a wide receiver. And the first reaction is that he looks like a formidable red zone target. But Shanahan has never liked the randomness and low-percentage nature of the fade route or jump ball near the end zone.

The question with Butler is much the same as the question with N’Keal Harry of Arizona State. Can he regularly and routinely find separation against bigger, faster, stronger, more-skilled NFL cornerbacks?

Butler should be among a group of wide receivers that fly off the board in rapid-fire succession on the second day of the draft.

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Different teams might view him in different ways. And for the 49ers, that kind of versatility is certainly not a bad thing.

He is 5-11, 210 pounds and ran a 4.48 at the NFL Scouting Combine. He had three sacks and nine tackles for loss last season, which points to his ability to play close to the line of scrimmage. He also led the Gators with four interceptions, so he could also be viewed as a single-high safety.

When the 49ers choose in the second round, there should be plenty of starter-caliber safeties from which to choose.

S Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Thornhill (6-0, 205) is another in the cluster of safeties who should be available at No. 36 but not when the 49ers select in the third round. It’s a group that includes Gardner-Johnson, Darnell Savage (Maryland), Nasir Adderley (Delaware) and Taylor Rapp (Washington).

The 49ers are coming off a season in which they set the NFL record for fewest interceptions in a season with two. Thornhill has experience at cornerback and showed those coverage skills when he moved to safety. He recorded 13 interceptions in his final three college seasons.

The 49ers might even be tempted to move him to cornerback, like they did a year ago with third-round draft pick Tarvarius Moore.

CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky

He might not be able to win a starting job immediately, but he should be a big special-teams performer from Day 1 and work into a significant role on defense. At 6-2, 213, Johnson is a good fit for the 49ers’ defensive scheme.

[RELATED: 49ers should find starters at edge rusher, wide receiver]

He is at his best re-routing receivers off the line of scrimmage. He should be able to handle the requirements of the 49ers’ preferred cover-three defense. In addition, he is an aggressive hitter who will be good in run support.

Is 36 too high for him? Perhaps, but he could be a target in Round 3.

Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50


Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50

Longtime 49ers area scout Reggie Cobb died Saturday morning in the Bay Area from an apparent heart attack, the club announced. He was 50.

“We are devastated by the sudden loss of a tremendous teammate and loyal friend, Reggie Cobb,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement.

“Reggie was an enthusiastic and passionate person who had a special ability to brighten up a room with his personality and infectious smile. For 10 years, the 49ers were better because of Reggie and these unique qualities that he possessed.

“He was a top-notch scout and an exemplary man whose years of service to this organization and the National Football League will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of mourning.”

Cobb played seven NFL seasons after entering the league as the No. 30 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990 from Tennessee.

In his career as a running back, he gained 3,743 yards and scored 25 touchdowns while playing four seasons with Tampa Bay and one apiece with Green Bay, Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

He transitioned into scouting, serving two years with Washington and six with Tampa Bay before coming to the 49ers. Cobb was entering his 11th year as an area scout with the 49ers. In 2011, he was named NFC Scout of the Year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

Cobb finished his college career ranked third on the University of Tennessee’s career rushing chart with 2,360 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the school’s 100th anniversary team. He lettered in track and graduated with a degree in urban studies in 1990.

Cobb lived in Sugarland, Texas, with his son, DeMarcus, according to his 49ers bio.