Gary v. Bosa

Submitted by Sharuck on May 24th, 2017 at 11:40 AM

OSU fan here.  Given that it is slow, I thought that I would tip you off that OSU fans expect there to be a lot of arguments the next two years regarding whether Rashan Gary or Nick Bosa is the better player.

Arguments for Gary:  you already know them.  I do not dispute any of them, and expect him to be elite.

Arguments for Bosa:  OSU press has reported that OSU coaches think that  (1) Nick has been better than his brother Joey at the same age (in HS and as college freshman).  I think each team would be thrilled if either player has the career that Joey did ( (2) Nick was the best player on the team last year (Nick played limited snaps, particularly early, since he was recovering from injury).

Freshman stats:  I think they are meaningless, since both players were behind excellent upper classman.   If you are neverthelss curious, Nick's were a little better -- 5 sacks/7 TFL for Nick v. 1/5 for Gary.

Obviously, too early to call, and each team likes there guy.



kevin holt

May 24th, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

Ed Oliver is a DT making this a non-sequitur. He didn't ask who the best player will be period or the best d-lineman.

Personally I think Nick Bosa could be easier to root for than his brother but I really, really hope he's not as good (or even close) until he gets to the NFL. Also the "easier to root for" part could change as he reaches upperclassmanship and comes into his own.

All that said, Gary > Bosa 


May 24th, 2017 at 1:59 PM ^

"Way better" = something along the lines of, "the OSU board is completely myopic, but this board is only mostly myopic"

Plenty of balanced people here, but then others will say things like there is "no argument in my mind" about which player will be better in two years based on speculative high school rankings and sparse data from first seasons.

I suppose it's true that there is "no argument in [his/her] mind," but that's a quintuissential example of pure myopia,

And then people like me get "negged" for calling a spade a spade, as if people like me give a flying F and derive self-worth from being "negged" (or getting positives) on a college sports forum.


May 24th, 2017 at 11:46 AM ^

If Bosa was better why wasn't he the unanimous #1 recruit in the country a year ago? 

Gary played behind a 1st round draft pick last year so throw the stats out the window. He is bigger stronger faster and just a better player. Not really a debate in my mind.


May 24th, 2017 at 12:12 PM ^

You're correct, their recruiting profile has nothing to do with their current performance and needn't be evaluated. 

But then, neither do their freshman season performances where their roles were different and involved vastly different personnel situations. 

This smells like a couple of OSU fans angling for an "us too!" debate in one area where Michigan has a likely advantage, perhaps similar to how they were sore over the attention Jabrill Peppers was appropriately getting. They've gotten spoiled with their recent run of success, I guess.


May 24th, 2017 at 1:33 PM ^

The rankings give you a good idea of what to expect from a player, which makes projecting a bit easier. The ratings in this case suggest that Gary is going to be a monster. So we have reason to expect that any statistical inequities in the freshman season will even out.

But they don't make someone a better player. The recruiting rankings didn't think much of Mike Hart, for example, but his performance on the field exceeded that of every 4 and 5-star RB in his class except #1 overall recruit Adrian Peterson. 

And this "debate," minimal as it is at this point, will be settled by what the guys actually do on the field.

Gary's ranking simply gives us an idea of what type of performance that will be.


May 24th, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

Holy apples and oranges argument, Batman.  You're comparing a composite Top-10 national player to a generic 3-star running back recruit, neither of whom have played a single snap of football at the college level.  The question at hand refers to two 5-star recruits, both of whom have played meaningful (if limited) snaps as freshman and therefore we can have more informed opinions about their respective talent levels.

I Like Burgers

May 24th, 2017 at 2:49 PM ^

Recruiting rankings tell you what some random scouts think the value of a random high school kid is GOING to be.  We're looking for results on what they CURRENTLY are.

So yes, ratings that deal with a future projection of a player's potential college worth have little value when debating what the current actual college worth is.  Its no more significant than using a two-day old weather forecast to figure out how nice of a day it is today.  One forecast said it was going to be 75 and partly cloudy, the other said it was going to be 72 and mostly sunny.  Guess what, none of that matters because its currently 80 and sunny as shit.

Also, looking at the 247 composite ratings for both guys, the two ratings we're talking about are a 1.000 for Gary and a .9965 for Bosa.  Your super significant data point is a whopping .0035.  

So to sum up, your recruiting rankings argument is worthless because its both statistically insignificant and because it has no bearing on the present.


May 24th, 2017 at 1:51 PM ^

Ed Oliver was also in a much more desirable situation. Gary was stuck behind a first round draft pick, Oliver was the best player in his conference the moment he signed his LOI. Not that Oliver wasn't better as a freshman anyway, but you'd have to think Gary could have put up better numbers in a situation more similar to Oliver.


May 24th, 2017 at 2:23 PM ^

"Gary was stuck behind a first round draft pick, Oliver was the best player in his conference the moment he signed his LOI."

Even on a per snap basis Gary was not close to Oliver.

They actually played a surprising similar number of snaps. Gary played one more game than Oliver.

Gary played ~300 snaps. Oliver played less than 400 snaps.

"Not that Oliver wasn't better as a freshman anyway, but you'd have to think Gary could have put up better numbers in a situation more similar to Oliver."


I think in a similar situation Gary would have put up better numbers, but still would have come nowhere near matching Oliver.


Olivers counting stats are insane.

His rate stats are insane.

His advanced stats are insane - PFF had the guy as the #1 rated run defender at DT in CFB.  Not the #1 freshman, #1 overall... no freshman had ever been in the top 25 before.


Ed Oliver vs. Oklahoma and Louisville:

62 snaps


4 sacks

2 passes batted

1 Forced fumble

Rashan Gary entire season:

~300 snaps


1 sack

0 passes batted

0 Forced fumbles

...and Oliver plays NT, not DE - where it's much harder to rack up those stats.


May 27th, 2017 at 6:15 PM ^

And Gary played a tougher schedule against better offensive lines than Oliver. Put Gary on a team like Houston and play the schedule in the American Conference and his stats would have looked a lot better too. It's easy to put up stats when you played two quality opponents all season. And their OLs aren't high caliber.


May 24th, 2017 at 11:47 AM ^

As DEs, I think it's too early to make a determination. They are both excellent. If Nick is like Joey, he will be a terror off the edge. To me, though, Gary wins because of his versatility. He had 30 pounds on Bosa going into college, which means that he can play DT and hold up against the run. 

If Bosa is star pass rusher and Gary is a star both in the pass rush and run defense, then it seems to me like Gary is the better player overall.

Also, it looks like Gary has a better 40 time? Part of the reason he was consensus #1 was because of his ridiculous measurables.


May 24th, 2017 at 12:17 PM ^

yep its early and theyre young but i agree with much of this.  bosa likely puts up better sack #s in college and prob gets drafted (very early) as pure DE.  gary offers more versatility now (and likely as a pro) with his bigger frame - he will put up #s too and also dominate for stretches, but prob not post as many sacks.  bosa is versatile too (he slid down and embarrassed plenty of interior OL in pass situations last year) but itll be more difficult to carry that to nfl at his projected size.

i think most agree bosa will be drafted as DE.  who really knows with gary.  he could remain at anchor until he leaves michigan and a team may pick him at DE.  or a team could select him as 3-4 end or 3 tech (whether or not he sees many reps there at m).  theyre both elite players, obviously.  and itll be fun to watch them over next few years.  bosa is a beast, like gary, and i wish he played for m (or at least didnt play against them).

side note - i think winovich may lead m in sacks with gary (and hurst) likely more dominant and requiring more game planning


May 24th, 2017 at 2:53 PM ^

There's no way Gary, billed one inch taller, is 30 pounds heavier than Bosa. I'm not even sure there's a way he's any pounds heavier. 



Also, Joey was flat out dominant against the run, and shifted inside on 3rd down by his junior season. It's predictable Nick will get there. As a freshman, Nick only played on 3rd down, and rushed from the outside.


May 24th, 2017 at 3:30 PM ^

I'm not disputing the numbers were listed as you presented them. But look at pics of Gary in high school and he obviously looks way smaller/skinnier than he does now. And he's currently billed 287, 17 pounds heavier than Bosa, and 6 pounds lighter than high school. So, idk.  And again, look at those pics I posted, there's no way Gary's almost 20 pounds heavier than Bosa. I could see 10 pounds, because he's an inch taller, but c'mon, 20? That's a tough sell. I'd imagine they're probably the same weight. 

Sione For Prez

May 24th, 2017 at 3:51 PM ^

I try to avoid the school's rosters as much as possible since they never seem to be truly accurate. Joey was 10 pounds lighter at the combine than he was on OSU's roster his final season. Based on where both guys came in and both having one year on a S&C program, I don't think it's unreasonable to think there is a 20ish pound difference. I also can't use two pictures of guys in full pads celebrating plays as a good estimate.


May 24th, 2017 at 8:30 PM ^

It is very difficult to compare the weights of football players in full pads, never mind from pictures, nevermind even further when they aren't in the same picture.


You're basically saying "Look, Bosa has more muscular arms, so Gary can't possibly weigh significantly more than Bosa."  That logic is riddled with false assumptions.


If we were talking about bodybuilding, then Bosa absolutely gets the win.  He is leaner, more muscular, and looks more jacked.  He absolutely has a better aesthetic physique than Gary as is obvious by his muscular arms and Gary's average looking muscularity in his arms.  That does not however mean he's bigger, stronger, more explosive, or a better player, but it does probably mean he looks better in a bathing suit :)


May 24th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

I did say there's no way on earth Gary is 20-30 pounds heavier than Bosa.

How can you make that assessment by looking at pictures of guys in different pictures? I can't even find a picture on the internet with them both in the same shot. I can however find pictures of Nick & Joey in the same picture and they look like carbon copies of each other except Joey is maybe an inch taller. Joey weighed 269 lbs at the Combine so you can trust that weight. It makes sense that Nick is under 270 lbs. So being about 20 lbs lighter than Rashan sounds about right if you want to speculate based on pictures, unless you think Rashan's listed weight is much heavier than his actual weight.