Last year, Ohio State star pass rusher Nick Bosa suffered an injury early in the season and decided to walk away from college football right then and there. It didn’t hurt his future prospects at all, as he was the second overall pick in the draft and is now the favorite to win the defensive rookie of the year award with the 49ers.
This year, Ohio State star pass rusher Chase Young may also find himself leaving school early — and it also likely won’t have any bearing on his future prospects.
Young, who is considered by many to be the best prospect at any position in the 2020 NFL draft, will be sidelined for Saturday’s game against Maryland amid an investigation of a potential NCAA rules violation. It’s unclear how much longer he might have to sit out, but Ohio State announced that he will miss at least one game “due to a possible NCAA issue from 2018 that the Department of Athletics is looking into.”
While that’s very bad news for Ohio State in its pursuit of a national championship, it won’t have any bearing on Young. NFL teams have shown in recent years that once a player has put enough on tape to establish himself as an elite prospect, they don’t particularly care if he cuts his college career short. Whether that’s because of an injury like Bosa, or whether it’s one of the many top draft prospects who have skipped their teams’ bowl games, it just isn’t an issue.
In fact, Young might be better off not playing college football anymore. He’s already established himself as a high pick — perhaps the first overall pick, depending on whether or not the team drafting first decides to take a quarterback — and by continuing to play he’d only subject himself to injury.
So for fans of college football in general and Ohio State in particular, there are plenty of reasons to hope Young can get the NCAA situation cleared up and get back on the field. But for Young, his future is bright whether he’s played his last game as a Buckeye or not.