PHOENIX (WCMH) — For the first time since 1978, a former Ohio State Buckeye has been recognized as the best defensive player in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who played three seasons for OSU, won the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award at the NFL Honors in Phoenix, Ariz. The only other Buckeye to win the DPOY award is Randy Gradishar, who won in 1978 with the Denver Broncos’ “Orange Crush Defense.”

Bosa was one of two Ohio State alum to win a prestigious award Thursday night. New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson took home the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Bosa had a phenomenal regular season amassing 18.5 sacks to lead the NFL, his second straight season with more than 15 sacks. He was named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year in 2019 and got his first All-Pro nod this season. San Fran fell just short of a Super Bowl berth after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. In four NFL seasons, Bosa has 43 sacks and 156 tackles.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JANUARY 29: Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco lines up against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Bosa won the award with ease, earning 46 out of 50 first-place votes. The 25-year-old beat out Philadelphia Eagles DE Haason Reddick, New York Jets DT Quinnen Williams, and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones. Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons received zero first-place votes.

Wilson, the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, shredded opposing secondaries to the tune of 83 receptions and 1,103 yards with four touchdowns. He became the first Jets receiver to post 1,000 in a rookie campaign and did so with a revolving door at quarterback.

Wilson, who caught a game-winning touchdown in a Week 2 thriller against Cleveland, posted six games with at least 90 yards. He is the first Buckeye to win the honor since Eddie George won the award with the Titans in 1996.

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) reacts after scoring the game-winning touchdown during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)

Wilson received one fewer first-place votes than Seattle RB Kenneth Walker, but twice as many second-place votes to edge Walker 156-129 in total voting points. Buckeyes WR Chris Olave finished fourth in voting behind Wilson, Walker, and San Francisco QB Brock Purdy.

2022 NFL Award Winners


Most Valuable Player: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City

Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Garrett Wilson, WR, N.Y. Jets

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, CB, N.Y. Jets

Comeback Player of the Year: Geno Smith, QB, Seattle

Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, N.Y. Giants

Walter Payton Man of the Year: Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas