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Joey Bosa wants to build on his family's NFL legacy

Joey Bosa won't be the first first-round draft pick in his family, and he might not be the last.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Bosa is expected to hear his name called early Thursday night at the 2016 NFL Draft. He won't be the first in his family to be drafted in the first round, either. Success in football is something that has become a family legacy for the Bosas, and the defensive end out of Ohio State is ready to join the ranks. And, with a younger brother who was a five-star recruit set to begin his freshman year with the Buckeyes, Joey might not be the last in his family to be drafted in the first round.

The patriarch of the Bosa family, John, played defensive tackle for Boston College and was drafted with the No. 16 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1987. He only played in the league for three seasons before calling it a career. In that time, he played in 31 games and totaled seven sacks and two fumble recoveries. He started 12 games his rookie season and only nine combined over his last two years.

It's not just the paternal bloodline that's filled with NFL-caliber talent. Joey's maternal grandfather was Palmer Pyle Jr., a highly regarded offensive lineman for Michigan State who went on to be drafted by the Baltimore Colts. Palmer's NFL career lasted only six years due to injuries, but his brother Mike Pyle -- Joey Bosa's great-uncle -- played nine seasons at center with the Chicago Bears.

Joey's uncle on his mother Cheryl's side, Eric Kumerow, was also a professional football player (as children, they were adopted by their stepfather, Ernie Kumerow). Eric played linebacker for Ohio State, and he was a surprise first-round selection at No. 16 overall by the Miami Dolphins in 1988 -- just a year after they used the same pick on his future brother-in-law John Bosa.

Kumerow only lasted three seasons in the league and never started a game. He recorded just five sacks in his short career. His son, Jake, also tried his hand at the football life. He played at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater and spent the 2015 season on the Bengals practice squad. Cincinnati signed him to its future list in January.

Joey Bosa's ancestry has destined him to be a football player, but he -- and his brother Nick -- is hoping to take the story one step further and find success in the league. Despite being what some may consider a first-round bust, John has groomed the next generation of top-tier defenders and is passing his wisdom on to the next NFL-bound Bosas.

Lessons learned from dad

Joey soaked up his time in front of reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He was asked about what kind of advice he's gotten from his dad, who was in the same shoes nearly 30 years ago.

"He's surrounded me with the best agents, the best trainers, with all the best people," Joey said. "I really trust him with everything's he's done for me in this process."

His father may have done everything he could to help Joey have a successful Combine performance, but that doesn't mean the former NFL player agrees with the types of workouts they expect from defensive ends. John called in to the Gresh Show on CBS Sports Radio to air his frustrations with the drills.

"He's been training specifically for the combine since three days after the bowl game. The combine, as you know, it's a very unrealistic group of exercises," John said. "It's not something that a defensive end in college football trains for. They don't train for a 40. They don't train for a standing broad jumps. That's not how football players train!"

Joey underwhelmed with his 4.86 40-yard time, but he was still one of the top defensive linemen in several drills, including the 20-yard shuttle, broad jump and three-cone drill.

Early in Joey's career, his back flip abilities were wildly applauded -- especially for a guy his size. But just because he can do them, doesn't mean he should. As his dad John told, "He may still do it once in a while, but I told him I don't want him doing that anymore. It gives me a heart attack."

And you can see why.

The legacy continues

Nick Bosa will also play defensive end at Ohio State -- and he's already arguably better at this stage in the game.

Joey was asked at the NFL Combine how it felt to be part of a father-son combination who've been drafted in the first round, and replied that the trend doesn't end with him.

"Really exciting. Hopefully we have another younger brother coming in three or four years, too."

Nick knows that there are a lot of expectations, coming from the family he does. But he looks forward to keeping true to the Bosa name, telling, "It would definitely be cool to keep the legacy going."

Joey was even asked at the Combine how much pressure there is for him to eventually raise a first-round caliber defensive end. He quipped, "Never really thought about that. Got to marry a tall, athletic girl and breed football players, I guess."

Even if that never happens, this generation of Bosas is hoping to cement its NFL legacy.