August 19, 2008

Bolden looking at ASU

Rivals250 recruit Bernard Bolden is one of the top defensive backs in the west. Bolden earned all-Northern California, all-State underclassmen, all-area, all-district honors and was League Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

Bolden reports offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, Nebraska, and San Diego State.

The four-star defensive back started practice Monday with his Merced teammates, two of whom, Nathan Mayfield and tight end Kenneth Cooper, also report offers from Arizona State.

"We had our first day today," Bolden said. "We were only out there in helmets but we got to run around a little bit. We all had fun. We are looking pretty cool. We are young on the defensive side of the ball. We only have a couple of guys returning from last year's team but we will be all right."

Merced head coach Rob Scheidt previously gave a scouting report on his talented player.

"Bernard makes a lot of plays for us," Scheidt said. "He can return kicks, play running back and if we asked him to I think he could play quarterback too. Bernard is definitely a Pac 10 caliber player. It is more of a question whether he plays safety or cornerback."

Bolden is a top flight athlete and has earned a reputation as a ferocious hitter. Last season he had 63 tackles and four interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown. Bolden also rushed for 560 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had five receptions for 76 yards and one touchdown. Bolden also returned a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.

Some schools believe they could use him in the slot or at running back but he is mainly being recruited as a cornerback.

"[Position] really doesn't matter wherever the coaches want me to play," Bolden said. "I like to hit, that is the thing I do best. I also can cover. Man-to-man is my favorite, I love it man we go man and I get to lineup in front of a receiver."

This summer Bolden skipped most of the camps choosing instead to focus on his academics by attending summer school. He did unofficially Cal along with several teammates.

Bolden gave the trip high marks but said he hasn't received an offered from Cal. He is beginning to look more seriously at his recruitment but is still in the early stages.

"I really have not thought about any [favorites]," Bolden said. "I just have some of the places that I am thinking about visiting: Washington State, Colorado, Cal, Arizona State, Nebraska and Oregon.

"I want to see the different campuses and see how everything looks," Bolden said. "I want to see what the classrooms look like. I also want to see what my status would be on the field. How long it would take for me to play and where I would be on the depth chart. See what the coaches are like and I want to meet the players to see what they are like."

Bolden is rated as the 27th best recruit overall in California according to Arizona State is looking at Bolden as cornerback. Assistant coach Jamie Christian is recruiting him to Arizona State.

"Coach Christian is a cool guy," Bolden said. "He seems like a good coach. I have got to talk to a few times now when he has come to visit me. I caught a couple of Arizona State's games last season and saw that they had a good team. I talked to my former teammate Jarrett Sparks" (Oregon signee). He told me that is pretty cool and that he liked it. He said that I should go there on a visit and that I might like it and I might want to go there."

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