Former Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, arguably the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft, used to be a frequent tweeter, unafraid to speak his mind on all manner of topics.
But if you follow Bosa’s @nbsmallerbear account, you might have noticed that he’s become more restrained in recent months.
‘I might end up in San Francisco’
Bosa brought attention to his Twitter feed with opinions like “Beyoncés music is complete trash,” as he did in 2016.
He also posted, “[Colin] Kaepernick is a clown” in 2016, and “Black panther worst marvel movie of all time [sic]” in 2018, and tweets in support of President Donald Trump.
But all of those tweets have since been deleted.
“I had to. There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco,” Bosa told Kevin Van Valkenburg for an ESPN the Magazine feature posted online Tuesday.
Of course, Kaepernick is no longer with the 49ers, though the city of San Francisco is one of the most socially progressive cities in America, and has been for decades.
Kaepernick may be a clown to Bosa, but at least he had the courage of his conviction and stood his ground, even when it became clear it could - and eventually did - cost him his livelihood and as he drew the ire of those who demonized him.
Nick Bosa with Ohio State
Nick Bosa with Ohio State
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 06: Injured defensive end Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes walking into Ohio Stadium before the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State Buckeyes won 49-26. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Nick Bosa (#97) rushes the passer during the Advocare Showdown college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the TCU Horned Frogs on September 15, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State won the game 40-28. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes lays on the field after being injured in the third quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs during The AdvoCare Showdown at AT&T Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Nick Bosa (97) works past TCU Horned Frogs offensive tackle Anthony McKinney (68) during the AdvoCare Showdown between the TCU Horned Frogs and Ohio State Buckeyes on September 15, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 08: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action during the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 52-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Oregon State 77-31. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Oregon State 77-31. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Defensive lineman Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a sack against the Wisconsin Badgers in the second half during the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 25: Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Nick Bosa (97) rushes during game action between the Ohio State Buckeyes (8) and the Michigan Wolverines on November 25, 2017 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 28: Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up before a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Penn Statte 39-38. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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‘I think it’s dumb’
Bosa hasn’t played a game since last September, against Texas Christian. In that game he suffered an excruciating groin injury, one that required season-ending surgery to repair torn core muscles, and a lengthy rehab.
After spending some time as an observer at Ohio State practices, Bosa ultimately decided to withdraw from school, move in with his brother, Joey, in Los Angeles, to rehab then prepare for the NFL draft.
While Bosa’s case was different from Christian McCaffrey and other college stars who opted not to play in bowl games to preserve their health for the draft, he still was painted as selfish by some who believed he was skipping out on a national championship-caliber team.
Bosa tried to make it clear that he would have played if he could, and it bothers him still that the perception lingers that he was making a statement about college athletes’ power and influence.
“I think it's dumb. I had a season-ending injury. If I could have played, I would have played and given it everything I had,” Bosa said. “It's not like I was trying to set a trend or I'd planned on skipping a year. ... It was terrible the way it got taken away from me.”
At the NFL scouting combine, Van Valkenburg asked one league executive if Bosa’s decision would be held against him.
“Nope,” the executive said. “When you're as good as he is, it doesn't matter.”