NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nick Bosa shared a moment that’s been 14 years in the making with the people who contributed the most to getting him to the 2019 NFL Draft.
His mom, Cheryl, and dad, John, along with his older brother, Joey, and his 93-year-old grandma -- among other family members, mentors and close friends -- did not have to wait long for Nick's name to be called Thursday night.
The 49ers invested the No. 2 overall pick in Bosa, who was called to the stage fewer than 10 minutes after the Arizona Cardinals selected quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.
“I was waiting for this day for a long time, so for it to actually be here, I’m just pumped,” Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was a long day, just waiting, red carpet, all that stuff. I was just itching to get here and get with my family.”
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Nick became the third Bosa to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. His dad, also a defensive lineman, was the No. 16 overall selection of the Miami Dolphins in 1987, and three years ago, the Chargers took Joey Bosa with the No. 3 pick.
The draft connections don't stop there. Bosa's uncle, Eric Kumerow, was the No. 16 overall pick by the Dolphins in 1988.
Nick Bosa's journey goes back to when he was 7 years old and rebelled against his parents’ decision to keep him out of youth football until he got older. He threw a tantrum on the kitchen floor. His parents relented and let him play.
“I think every kid wants to be like his dad,” Nick said. “I was just dying to get out there and play. I was watching Joey play, so obviously I wanted to be like my dad and be like my brother. And it worked out.”
Greg Bethune, the first impactful youth coach Bosa had from his days at Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Optimists, was invited to join in the celebration Thursday.
“He had such a big impact on me,” Bosa said of Bethune. “I love football because of him. I feel like when you’re a kid, it’s really important to have a really good coach because you can either start out loving it or you can start out being indifferent. Just having him start out my career with a love for the game that’s continued through my life.”
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and current Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson were among the invited guests, too. The Bosa family credits Johnson for helping get the most from Joey and Nick as football technicians.
“Can’t say enough about him,” Nick said of Johnson. “Me and Joey wouldn’t be in the position we are without him. We wouldn’t be the players we are without him. I’m excited to learn new things from new coaches but also keep in touch with him.”
Nick Bosa moved in with his brother last year after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a bilateral core muscle injury. Bosa withdrew from school to concentrate on his rehab. At the time, Joey was recovering from a foot injury that kept him out of the early portion of the 2018 NFL season with the Chargers.
“There was just positivity between the two of us, helped us get through it,” Nick said. “And just seeing what he goes through in a season, in an NFL season, how he conducts himself as a pro.”
Bosa said he's pleased to begin his NFL career as a 49er, and that he felt a connection with the organization from the beginning. He senses the 49ers have established a family-like culture under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.
“I think it’s hard not to hit it off with them,” Bosa said of the entire 49ers organization. “They’re such good dudes, just easy to relate to. They seem like they have a really good plan in place, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
So what will the 49ers and their fans get from Bosa?
“Just somebody that’s going to work his butt off and come in Year 1,” he said. “I’m just hungry to get after it, and you’ll see it on the field.”