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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'Every time I looked up he was in the backfield causing havoc'
By Tony Gerdeman

Everybody wants to know who the up-and-comers are during spring and fall camp. Who is emerging and who are teammates taking notice of. When middle linebacker Chris Worley was asked to name a young guy who was standing out last week, he initially had trouble thinking of just one guy.

"I can’t really say one guy," he said. "Oh, actually, he played a lot last year -- Little Bosa. Every time I looked up he was in the backfield causing havoc and that’s what we look for. As far as a linebacker, you love to have a defensive lineman in the backfield wreaking havoc because he’s going to make plays. If there was one guy I’d say Nick Bosa."

Of course, referring to Nick Bosa -- who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 270 pounds -- as "Little Bosa" might be stretching the bounds of accuracy, but Worley doesn't seem to mind.

"Yeah, I call him Little Bosa," he said. "He’s a big boy, but I mean, his brother, you can’t say (Nick) is 'Big Bosa', not with Joey. I don’t know if he really likes it but it’s just kind of the way his hand was dealt."

Linebackers coach Billy Davis is in his first season as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes, but this is his second season in the program. Having spent a quarter of a century in the NFL, there is going to be an adaptation period, much of which took place a year ago while Davis worked behind the scenes for Urban Meyer.

Having seen last year what college defenses were asked to do compared to what the NFL asks, there is one glaring difference that Davis never had to worry about while in the League.

"The biggest difference is stopping the quarterback run," he said. "That conversation about the quarterback running doesn’t exist in the NFL. Then the field dimensions are different, so schematically you’re talking a quarterback run game is a conversation that I’ve never had, where in the NFL it’s all about the throwing and the passing game and a little bit of the run. That’s the biggest thing, but coaching football is coaching football."

Billy Davis isn't the only former NFL assistant now on Urban Meyer's coaching staff, as quarterbacks coach Ryan Day spent the last three years in the pros with Chip Kelly.

While Davis noted the differences, in football there is always one constant -- if your quarterback plays well, you're going to have a chance to be very successful.

"The biggest thing that just jumped out to me in my experience there was that if the quarterback is playing well, your team is going to play well," Day said. "If the quarterback does not play well, then it is hard. So much of it goes back on the quarterback and the passing game. We do a great job of running the ball here, so our balance is going to be really important. The best they have been here, they have been balanced. 250 and 250, that is the goal. We have to make sure that is a big part of what we do, moving forward."

There is quite a transition going on in the Ohio State linebackers room right now as Luke Fickell has given way to Billy Davis. For the players, all they've ever known is Fickell, who has been a part of their lives since they were in high school. Because of what they have established under Fickell, Davis isn't trying to change what has become a successful routine for a group of players who are still getting to know their new position coach. The players aren't looking to alter what has worked either.

"Coach Davis has done a great job of not trying to change our room," Chris Worley said. "He’s kind of adapted to it. Everything we did with Coach Fickell we’re still doing. The biggest thing that I’d like to keep going is the competitive nature of the linebackers. Last year we were so competitive. Even at the end of practice just running to Coach Fick, the last guy that was in, he had to do 50 to 100 pushups. It was that competitive. It’s not just up to Coach Davis, it’s up to guys like me, Baker, Booker, guys that’s been here, to keep that going. That’s the biggest thing, that competitive nature."

Player profiles relevant to story:
35 - Worley, Chris | 97 - Bosa, Nick | Coach - Davis, Billy | Coach - Day, Ryan
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