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Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa is bullish on his Heisman Trophy chances

The junior defensive end knows that history isn’t on his side when it comes to the Heisman Trophy

Oregon State v Ohio State

“I don’t think any defensive player is winning a Heisman, so we’ll see.”

Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa via Bill Bender, The Sporting News

The list of defensive players in the mix for the Heisman Trophy is few and far between, but if there was ever a player to be a part of the discussion, it might be Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. Despite his strong start to the season, Bosa isn’t exactly booking tickets to New York City in early December.

Through two games this year, Bosa has registered three sacks, five tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. If the junior can keep that pace up, it’ll be hard to omit Bosa from the Heisman fesitivies.

The award has largely been dominated by quarterbacks and running backs, which is why Bosa is tempering his expectations. Of the last 18 Heisman Trophy winners, 15 of those award recipients have been quarterbacks. It also doesn’t help Bosa’s case that teammate Dwayne Haskins has put up monster numbers at quarterback in Ohio State’s first two games.

In the history of the Heisman Trophy award, just eight times have defensive linemen finished in the top five in voting, with the last being Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh in 2009. The best finish overall for a defensive lineman in Heisman voting came in 1957 with Iowa’s Alex Karras and Pitt’s Hugh Green in 1980, who both finished second.

Bosa understands why he likely won’t be a part of the final discussion for the award, since with the added attention in the press, he’ll see opponents throwing more blockers at him to try and slow him down. Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano also thinks Bosa likely has an uphill battle to win the award, as it would have to be a year in which no offensive players had tremendous stats.

Even though he thinks he’ll miss out on winning the award, Bosa is fine with that. Bosa just wants to help his team win a couple other trophies, in the Big Ten title and a national championship. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’ll likely be one of the first players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Honestly, it’s just school and dogs and girlfriend and family. I don’t really let the football stuff get to me. One practice at a time, one game at a time is what I think about.”

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

From what Ohio State fans have seen of Dwayne Haskins so far, it almost feels like nothing can rattle the redshirt sophomore quarterback. There isn’t many situations that are more pressure packed than what Haskins went through last year, having to replace an injured J.T. Barrett in the third quarter in Ann Arbor with the Buckeyes trailing Michigan.

In two starts this year, Haskins hasn’t been tested, leading the Buckeyes to easy wins over Oregon State and Rutgers. Saturday night will be Haskins’ first true test as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, as the Buckeyes travel down to Texas to take on TCU in primetime. Haskins says a game like Saturday night’s showdown on national television is something he has been dreaming about since he was a young kid.

While all has seemed perfect so far for the quarterback, Haskins knows there is always room to grow. The biggest area Haskins knows he needs to improve in is with his leadership skills. Former quarterback J.T. Barrett showed a little more intensity as a leader, which Haskins has been working on. Although if the results continue like the first two games of the season for the Buckeyes, Haskins might not want to change things too much.

For now, Haskins is just having fun out there with his teammates. The quarterback has inserted himself into the Heisman Trophy discussion with his performance so far this season, and a big performance of TCU could put him near the top of the early season list for the prestigious award.

There isn’t a whole lot of history between Ohio State and TCU, but something that happened off the field between that involved the two teams helped to shape an important Ohio State tradition.

In 1934, Ohio State was searching for a new head coach. After head coaches from Purdue and the University of Chicago turned down the Buckeyes, Ohio State looked to Fort Worth, where Francis Schmidt had put together a 45-6-5 record over five seasons as head coach. The 45 wins by Schmidt still rank fourth on TCU’s all-time wins list.

When asked about Ohio State’s rivalry with Michigan, Schmidt uttered the famous phrase, “Hell, they put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as we do”. After Schmidt’s statement, Ohio State began the tradition of awarding Gold Pants trinkets to the team when they defeated the Wolverines.

Schmidt’s Ohio State teams would shutout the Wolverines in his first four years as head coach, but fail to beat Michigan in the final three years of his time in Columbus. In seven years as head coach of the Buckeyes, Schmidt would finish with a 39-16-1 record. Along with the introduction of the Gold Pants, Schmidt also did bring in a more diverse offense, helping set the very early groundwork for what will be seen by Ohio State fans when the Buckeyes take on Schmidt’s former team on Saturday night.

New Orleans may have dropped their season opener to Tampa Bay on Sunday, but a former Ohio State wide receiver can’t be blamed for the loss. Thomas hauled in 16 of his 17 targets and totaled 180 receiving yards and a touchdown. The effort is even more valuable when considering Thomas is making just under $1.3 million per year on his rookie contract.

Thomas is in the third year of a four-year contract, so the time is going to come soon where the Saints will have to pony up to keep Thomas in New Orleans. The former Buckeye caught 104 passes last year after recording 92 receptions in his rookie year. Without Thomas, it would have been a lot tougher for New Orleans to make the playoffs last season.

So how much will it cost for New Orleans to keep Thomas in “The Big Easy”? Odell Beckham Jr just signed a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract with the New York Giants, and it’s likely Thomas will be looking for similar numbers. While Thomas might not get exactly that type of money, it’s easy to see him getting somewhere in the range of 5-years and $80-$85 million, which would be similar to deals Brandin Cooks and DeAndre Hopkins recently signed.

With Drew Brees likely in the twilight of his NFL career, it would be wise for the Saints to lock up Thomas as soon as they can. With Thomas signed to a long-term deal, it would certainly make life easier for whoever is tasked with trying to replace Brees in the future.