“It's way faster,” Nash said. “In high school, you could take your time, especially the skill level I had in high school. Now, almost everybody has the same skill level.
“I can't turn it on and off.”
And Nash admits that his confidence has taken a hit, knowing that much is expected of him to help take this team to another level.
To his credit, Nash doesn't dodge the expectations, or the idea that his energy level needs a lift. Nash, who has started four of OSU's five games, is averaging 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds. But his lapses and a lack of aggressiveness got him benched in the Cowboys' last game against Virginia Tech.
“In my mind, it's getting to me,” Nash said. “I really want to do good for this school. They say I'm the highest recruit to ever come to this school. That's really pressure right there. I'm just trying to deliver.
“I think if I don't score well, my coaches and my teammates are going to be, ‘Where you at, LB? You're a main focus on this team, so you need to deliver.'”
Nash's teammates are trying to help, reassuring him and reminding him that it's typical for freshmen to experience growing pains.
“I just think it takes time, time and experience,” said senior Keiton Page. “He's going to get there. We see the type of player that LB is every day in practice. It just takes a little to translate over into games.
“But I have no doubt LB is going to get there and LB's going to be a tremendous player by midseason, doing great things for us.”
That's the plan. Eventually.
“It takes some a little bit longer than others,” Ford said. “Some McDonald's All-Americans' roles are different than others. We're asking him to come in and do a lot. And we're allowing him to do a lot. It's just that the backbone of it has to be playing hard and deserving it and it's got to become a step-by-step process at this point in time.
“He's very talented. And I love the challenge of getting it out of him.”