INDIANAPOLIS -- In one of his first significant public discussions since his college football career was prematurely ended by injury, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa said Saturday at the NFL scouting combine that he is fully healthy and ready to be the top pick of the April draft.
"I've been talking myself up pretty good to [NFL teams]," Bosa said. "I'm ready to get on the field, get on the bench ... and definitely leave no doubt."
Bosa said he will participate in a full workout Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium when the defensive linemen and linebackers will go through their on-field work. He added he will meet Sunday night with the Arizona Cardinals, who have the No. 1 pick in the draft. He said Friday he will meet with the other teams in the top eight of this year's draft as well.
Bosa's junior season at Ohio State ended in September when he suffered a core muscle injury. He eventually withdrew from school in October to both rehab the injury and begin his preparation for the NFL draft in earnest.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native gave the most specific description of the injury to date Saturday, saying he suffered a "bilateral core muscle injury ... it's a groin, lower abdomen thing," and noting that repairs were made to both sides of the injury. He said he knew immediately the severity of the injury.
"I felt it. I know what a serious injury is. I knew my season was in jeopardy," he said.
He added that he has been training "at full speed" for about two months and that he felt 100 percent -- "like myself" -- for a few weeks.
Bosa suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Buckeyes' Sept. 15 win over TCU and had surgery Sept. 20 to repair it. At the time, Bosa's family had been given a recovery time of 12 weeks, so Bosa and his family made the decision to withdraw from school.
"When it happened, when I got home from that TCU game, I was lying in bed and I could barely get up," Bosa said. "It was one of the darkest moments of my life so far ... for me just to talk to my family and them bring me up and just know ... that I still have amazing blessings and a bright future."
Although he played in just three games last season, Bosa was still an honorable mention selection to the All-Big Ten team. He had four sacks in the Buckeyes' first three games of the season as well as six tackles for loss and was leading the team in tackles overall.
"It's such a unique injury. It's the muscle you use to breathe, to cough, go to the bathroom. It's literally your core muscle," Bosa said. "... But I'm feeling better than I've ever felt before."
"It would be a dream come true," Nick Bosa said of the possibility of being the first pick of the draft. "... Coach Bill Davis from Ohio State is the linebacker coach over there, he obviously was at Ohio State with me. It would mean so much to me to be thought of [as] the best player in the draft."
Bosa was the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year as a sophomore in 2017, when he finished with 16 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. When he was injured against TCU, either he or his brother had played in 71 of the past 72 Ohio State games.