Joey Bosa was ejected for targeting during the early goings of the Fiesta Bowl, but he’s not bitter.
Instead, he thanks his lucky stars that he was able to get out of his final college game healthy, which ultimately led to him being selected No. 3 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Now, before we go any further, it must be said that the targeting call wasn’t complete horse manure. Everyone who saw the play (besides Ohio State and its fans) knew it was targeting, by rule. He hit Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer with the crown of his helmet as if he were a bull and Kizer were the red flag, though he didn’t finish with full force (watch here).
Bosa himself knows he let himself and his team down.
“That was very frustrating. I was furious. I felt like I let my team down,” Bosa said, via the team website. “It still bothers me to this day because I was on my way to having a great game.”
With that out of the way, what Bosa said next about the entire ordeal is even more significant.
“I now look at it in a positive way. I mean, Jaylon Smith tore his knee in the last game of his college career. I made it out healthy, and now I’m here.”
Bosa was the first defender taken off the board, and the Chargers were ecstatic to land him. In fact, when the Philadelphia Eagles made the trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up to No. 2, the Chargers already knew they’d be able to land their man. As detailed in the chargers.com story, Bosa was coveted by the scouts and decision-makers in San Diego.
But if Notre Dame’s Smith hadn’t tore his knee in that same game, Bosa might not have been the first defender off the board. We’ll never know, but he was viewed by many as the top player — forget about the top defender — in the 2016 class before suffering the injury that will likely sideline him the entire 2016 season with the Dallas Cowboys.
Back to Bosa, it’s going to be interesting to see how he does in San Diego. The Chargers couldn’t be higher about his future, but many wonder how he’ll even fit in the team’s 3-4 defensive scheme after spending his entire career with his hand on the ground in a 4-3.