October 9, 2008

Bolden has top two

Merced (Calif.) running back/defensive back Bernard Bolden is a Rivals250 recruit and one of the top athletes in the west. Bolden reportedly holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, Nebraska, and San Diego State.

Early in the process Bolden favored Cal, but he said the school's coaches told him they were moving in a different direction. He is of the opinion that his current academic standing played a role in Cal's decision, but said he's determined to complete the necessary coursework to be a full qualifier.

"Recruiting is going pretty well," Bolden said. "My top two are Oregon and ASU. I still have not set up any official visits yet. I am planning on taking them sometime after the season and then making a decision.

"With the Ducks, I think that Oregon would be a really cool place to be. They are recruiting me as a defensive back. I just talked to Coach Campbell. He seemed like a pretty cool coach and he said that they would like to have me down there and I will take his word for it. I watch them a lot last year when they had Dixon. They had a really good season until he got hurt.

"I have been interested in ASU since my friend Jarrett Sparks visited down there last year. He told me that I should look into them and that it is a pretty good school. He said he had a lot of fun on his recruiting trip and that he liked it a lot.

"I talked to Coach Christian when he came down here. He sounded pretty interested and it seemed like I could help them out a lot. ASU came out to watch me play for the Edison game. I think it would be a great place to be. I want to check it out down there. I think they are recruiting me as a defensive back. They said that I could play slot receiver or the defensive back. It really doesn't matter to me wherever they think I can help them out.

"As far as Cal, they could comeback an offer me but I doubt that would happen. I probably would be a little less interested but I am always open-minded about things."

Bolden is rated as the 27th best recruit overall in California according to Rivals.com. As a junior he earned All-Northern California, All-State Underclassmen, all-area, all-district and league Defensive Player of the Year.

Merced is off to a 3-1 start this season, but because of an ankle injury Bolden has only played in the two most recent games. In his first game back, against Edison, Bolden only saw one snap on offense while playing full-time on defense. Last week he saw his usual amount of snaps on both sides of the ball.

"I played both ways versus Del Oro and we won 21-14," Bolden said. "I would not say I am back to 100 percent but I am close probably like 90 percent. We are looking pretty good right now. I think we will finish up real strong.

"We are playing Los Banos this week. We know that they are a good team. They didn't do so well last year but they had a new coach and they were learning a new system. They have a real good receiver. He is big and fast and they are going to put me on him. I am looking forward to it."

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