Making the NFL and becoming a star in the pros may be the dream of every little boy when he's tossing the football around, but leaving college behind for big-league dreams can turn budding young men into sobbing softies.
Case in point: Several stars of the Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh off beating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl Friday, showed just how emotional it can be to say goodbye to the college years once and for all.
Senior wide receiver (and former starting quarterback) Braxton Miller broke down on camera after the game while talking lovingly about his time at Ohio State.
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Junior Cardale Jones, the QB who replaced injured starter J.T. Barrett for the last few games of last season's national-title run (and who was subsequently benched this season over poor production), is giving up his senior season for the NFL Draft along with fellow juniors running back Ezekiel Elliott and defensive end Joey Bosa. Jones admitted on Twitter that he couldn't quite hide his emotions in the locker room after the game.
And if any of my teammates got pics or videos of me crying in the locker room, don't post them lol— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) January 1, 2016
It may not mean nothing to y'all but understand, nothing was done for me— CardaleJones (@CJ12_) January 1, 2016
Elliott had a huge game against the Fighting Irish, scoring four touchdowns in the win. Afterward, he tweeted his fond thoughts about his university.
Bittersweet— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) January 1, 2016
Honored to be apart of this great university and team. These last 3 years have been the best years of my life. Thanks Buckeye Nation.— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) January 2, 2016
But Elliott also seemed choked up on camera.
Bosa -- who had the most bittersweet ending to his college career of his fellow Buckeye stars, thanks to being ejected for targeting in the second quarter -- was also apparently caught up in the moment after returning to the field at University of Phoenix Stadium with his teammates afterward.
An emotional Joey Bosa meets with the Ohio State defensive line after the Fiesta Bowl win: pic.twitter.com/djHPciEeCh— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) January 1, 2016
Bosa back on the field. pic.twitter.com/LPySBCItEY— Tim Moody (@TimLMoody) January 1, 2016
Joey Bosa broke down the DL group one final time. Fighting back tears as he thanked his teammates. pic.twitter.com/T3S2PPHMPQ— Austin Ward (@AWardESPN) January 1, 2016
Bosa summed it up best with his own Instagram post, full of machismo love:
A photo posted by Joey Bosa (@jbbigbear) on