DALLAS — The Cotton Bowl will not be Nick Bosa’s last game as an Ohio State Buckeye.

That’s a result of NFL draft eligibility rules, not Bosa’s ability. The defensive end is a true sophomore, and a player isn’t eligible for the draft until he is three years removed from high school.

If Bosa were eligible, Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com said, he’d be a top-five overall pick.

“There’s a good chance he’d be the first defensive player drafted,” Brugler said. “Depending on how the quarterbacks went, he would have had a chance at being a top-three pick.”

Nick’s brother, Joey, went as the third overall pick to the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers two years ago and already has become one of the NFL’s premier defensive linemen. Nick is following a similar path.

Despite having limited snaps because of OSU’s depth on the defensive line, Bosa was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Lineman of the Year after leading the Buckeyes with 14½ tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Bosa was also voted first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association, which earns him a place in Buckeye Grove.

“I get a tree next to Joey’s,” he said. “We’ve already got the spot. It’s pretty awesome.”

Though Bosa said he believes he is ready for the NFL now, he sees the benefit of playing another year in college.

Asked what he can improve, Bosa answered, “Everything. I’m not even close to where I can be. Every day, I’m looking for something to get better.

“I watched Joey’s freshman, sophomore and junior film, and the biggest jump he made was from sophomore to junior year. The stats weren’t the same, obviously, because he was getting triple-teamed and everyone knew who he was. But the jump he made as a player is why he’s doing what he’s doing now.”

With seniors Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes heading to the NFL and junior Sam Hubbard likely to join them, Bosa figures to get the extra attention from opposing offenses that his brother got in 2015.

But Bosa is optimistic that freshman Chase Young and sophomore Jonathon Cooper will shine with an expanded role. If third-year sophomore Dre’Mont Jones doesn’t declare for the NFL draft, Bosa said he and Robert Landers will be formidable at tackle.

“With Coop and Chase on the other side and Dre’Mont hopefully will come back and with (Landers) inside, it’ll be tough to double-team anyone,” Bosa said.

But Bosa does relish the idea of getting more reps next year and of being the veteran of the unit.

“I think I’ll have to be a little more vocal next year,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot of young guys and guys who haven’t played in a game yet. I think I lead by example already but just pushing guys — I’ve already gotten with Chase a lot — being more vocal is important.”

But next year can wait for now as Bosa and the Buckeyes prepare for Southern California in the Cotton Bowl on Friday. Bosa raved about Trojans running back Ronald Jones II and redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, who’ll be in the conversation for the first overall NFL pick if he enters the draft.

“We’re going to have to help our DBs and linebackers because they have a very good running back, definitely one of the best we’ve played, right up there with Saquon (Barkley of Penn State),” Bosa said. “Obviously, the quarterback is going to be a top pick.”

So will Bosa, but luckily for Ohio State fans, not until 2019.