Omar Bolden's football future was very much in doubt 12 months ago. The former ASU corner tore his ACL late in spring practice just a few months after deciding to return for his senior season with the Sun Devils. He wasn't able to return to play in the fall, and was vigorously preparing himself for this weekend hoping to get selected by an NFL team.
Nonetheless, even with no senior season film to showcase his talents Bolden was hardly an unknown for NFL scouts who frequented Tempe. The corner was one of only four unanimous selections for the 2010 All-Pacific-10 Conference First-Team as selected by the league's coaches, collecting 52 tackles that year and leading ASU with three interceptions.
Those accomplishments along with pacing all defensive backs in the 2012 NFL combine with 24 bench reps and proceeding to run the 40-yard dash in the low 4.5 second range during his pro day, have proved to probably more teams than just the Broncos, that Bolden was fully recovered from his ACL injury.
"I was expecting just to come back healthy and get drafted like I did," Bolden said today to the Denver media. "It's been a lot of hard work leading up to this and I'm just happy that it's over.
"I've got it (speed) back. I'm ready to play, I'm ready to compete."
Bolden is also a gifted specialist who returned 11 kickoffs for 321 yards and a 29.2 yard average in the 2010 season, including a 97-yard return for a touchdown versus Wisconsin.
"I love returning ball," Bolden commented. "I played running back in high school, so any time I can get my hands on the ball, then I enjoy it. I take pride and joy in it."
Bolden admitted to having little contact with the Broncos prior to the draft, and certainly not having the level of contact that his former ASU teammate and now fellow rookie Brock Osweiler had. Bolden was naturally excited to join his former quarterback in the mile-high city.
"Brock Osweiler is a competitor," Bolden described. "He's a team guy. He's going to do everything that you ask him in order to make the team better. He's a great locker room guy, and he's a great guy to be around. I'm excited to be reunited with him again."