In a move that always seemed to be somewhat of a forgone conclusion, Class of 2017 safety Bubba Bolden (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) gave a verbal commitment to USC this past Monday, less than two months after receiving an offer from the program that he’s envisioned himself lining up for since childhood.
“It’s been a dream school for me since I was little,” said Bolden, who participated in the Skill Positions Camp at USC last summer. “I grew up watching them, my dad was a big fan, and I also know some people who went there. And when I’ve been out there, I just like the atmosphere, and I love that I feel like I can go in there and make a big impact.”
A rangy, physical safety at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Bolden also had offers from the likes of Arizona State, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Utah, but with his mind already made up, he didn’t see the need to drag the process out any longer.
“It just felt like the right time, you know, so I don’t have to worry about college,” said Bolden, who compiled 55 tackles and three interceptions this past fall. “I can just focus on school, and focus on getting stronger, and getting better on the field.”
His decision eased by the recent hiring of Clay Helton as USC’s full-time head coach, he opted to commit now despite the fact that the Trojans are currently without a defensive backs coach following the firing of Keith Heyward along with three other assistants.
“I know a lot of people at USC who play, and they’ve told me that Coach Helton is a good coach, so I feel like everything is going to go well,” Bolden said. “Now we’re just waiting on the defensive back coach. I’m solid with the school either way, but when I find out who the defensive back coach is we’re going to build a relationship. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Joining running back Stephen Carr (Fontana, Calif./Summit) and cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) to become the third verbal commitment from the Class of 2017 for USC, Bolden has already started to get to know his future teammates, and he also wants to play a role in helping the Trojans to pull in even more talent. At the top of his target list are number of his own teammates on a Bishop Gorman team that recently won a seventh consecutive Nevada state title for the school.
“That’s what I’m really trying to do now,” Bolden said. “I’m trying to get Alex Perry, Haskell Garrett, Tyjon Lindsay, and if Tate [Martell] de-commits from Texas A&M, then I’d try to get Tate to come to USC too.”
While Bolden does consider himself a rock-solid USC pledge, he also doesn’t want to miss out on certain aspects of the recruiting process – namely official visits.
“I’m still going to take my visits - just to have fun, to see some of the other college campuses, and just to enjoy the recruiting process,” Bolden said, “but I’m committed to USC, and I’m very strong with that.”
In a sign of the strength of his commitment, Bolden has plans to unofficially visit the USC campus a number of times in the coming months, including for Junior Day in January, as well as for the Rising Stars Camp in the summer – All so he can get an even better feel for the school that he plans to call home in the future.
“I’m very excited and very thankful for the opportunity to go to USC and to play there,” Bolden said. “I feel like my life is on the right path.”