Prior to the start of the 2023 NFL season, Nick Bosa signed a deal making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. That was obviously due to the talent he’s shown off since making his debut with the 49ers in 2019, but he also might be able to credit the interesting ritual he relies on to get pumped up.
Bosa first made a name for himself while playing at Ohio State, where he followed in the footsteps of his older brother (and former Buckeyes linebacker) Joey. In 2019, he was selected by San Francisco with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, and he wasted no time living up to the expectations surrounding him when he entered the league.
As is the case with many fearsome defenders, Bosa’s physicality is bolstered by the “Take No Prisoners” mentality that’s allowed him to emerge as one of the most dominant defensive ends to currently roam the gridiron.
You can probably credit some of that drive to his sibling rivalry with Joey: I can only imagine what their parents had to deal with while overseeing a household that was home to a couple of uber-competitive football players who’d eventually make it to the highest level of the sport.
However, as one of Bosa’s teammates once shared, he also harnesses a fairly quirky approach to get into the right mindset.
Nick Bosa uses himself to hype himself up before playing
Nick Bosa is one of those players who can make an impact by simply being on the football field. He’s no stranger to stepping up when it counts and making a big play, but his mere presence can give the 49ers an edge thanks to opponents who know they always have to keep a close eye on him whenever he checks in.
Bosa (like his brother) also radiates the kind of aura that makes him seem like an especially frightening figure in a league overflowing with freakishly athletic players that would strike fear in the hearts of any average person who got on their bad side. He’s a prototypical “Football Guy,” and as is the case with plenty of people who earn that label, he goes above and beyond when it comes to motivating himself.
As Bosa’s former teammate Joe Staley once shared, he’s one of the many athletes who will talk to themselves to amp themselves up, although the manner in which he does that understandably caught the retired DE off guard.
Here’s what he had to say:
“It was like the second week in training camp when Nick got drafted. He’s lining up and he’s across from me and I just hear him mumbling to himself. I don’t know what he’s saying; I can’t really hear what he’s saying…
After that period was done, I went to him and I was like, ‘Dude, what the hell are you saying to yourself when you’re down in your stance?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I just motivate myself and I say my name over and over. So he was down in his stance and he’s just going, ‘Bosa. Bosa. Bosa.'”
This definitely gives off some serious “Yeah, Jeets” vibes, but when you consider it also helped him secure a massive bag, I can’t say I’m in any position to judge him.
Sure, it might be a little crazy, but it’s only crazy when it doesn’t work—and that approach seems to be working out pretty well for Nick Bosa.