Introducing the 2007 Class: Omar Bolden

Some players are worth the wait. Thus, the ASU coaches didn't mind delaying the announcement that Omar Bolden signed his Letter of Intent, some three hours after releasing the names of the rest of the 2007 class. The Sun Devils recruited the four-star cornerback late in the season, which obviously didn't hurt their chances landing the jewel crown of their recruiting class.

The 5-11 195 Omar Bolden was recruited by the former Arizona State staff, but for whatever reason that process was short lived. "Early in the season (former tight ends coach) Coach Osborne talked to me and asked me if I was interested in Arizona State," recalled Bolden. "I said ‘yes', but I never heard back from him." The new ASU coaching staff that was being assembled in the middle of December identified the cornerback right away as a coveted prospect. "(Safeties Coach and Recruiting Coordinator) Coach Lubick contacted me late in the season," said Bolden. "I really liked that he told me that I was one of the first players that he called when he first got to Arizona State."

Cornerbacks Coach Al Simmons took over after the initial contact, and a strong relationship was forged quickly between coach and prospect. "He and I clicked from the first time he talked to me," Bolden remarked. "He was cool. I didn't know anything about the program and I got to learn about it when I was talking to him. I also liked that he coached in the NFL and that means that he has experience and can help me get to the next level."

Bolden visited Tempe on January 26th, and his impressions of his ultimate college destination were positive early on. "The first day I got there I knew that I was gonna sign with them," he admitted. "I loved at the athletic facilities and just the program itself. They have a new head coach and I play well when there's a new coach. I knew that ASU would be fun, and it was. I was hosted by Ryan McFoy, who I know from back home; he lives like ten minutes from me. Everything about the visit was cool – it's really just like California." He added that the race for his pledge between ASU and Oregon State (who he visited the week before the Sun Devils) was very close. "It all came down to that I was more comfortable in a bigger city," he explained.

Another school that vying for his services was the one that Bolden wanted for a long time to sign with – USC. The hometown college had other recruiting priorities, and when they tried in the 11th hour to offer him a scholarship and land his commitment, Bolden didn't forget the perceived disrespect shown by the Trojans. "I was surprised that they didn't show me love," he noted. "People that I know didn't tell me to wait on them or nothing like that." Jordan Campbell, a USC signee and friend of Bolden invited the cornerback to a USC basketball game, and unbeknownst to Bolden, it turned out to be a full blown recruiting trip. "I guess it was funny that they (USC) did that," he remarked. "I really didn't wanna go on that visit."

His feelings towards the Trojans and their recruitment of him were further manifested on a Fox Sports Southern California Letter of Intent show (the reason was ASU delayed their announcement concerning Bolden's signing). The cornerback had three hats laid in front of him when asked which school he will sign with, and none were ASU's. He tossed the Oregon State and Washington hats, and then he picked up the USC cap and said: "I think it might be…nah…ain't gonna be no Trojans!" and proceeded to pull a maroon Sun Devil hat from his back pocket and exclaimed "I'm going to be an Arizona State Sun Devil"!. Granted the maroon and gold faithful and non-ASU fans had their differing opinions of his actions on the show, but Bolden denies that he was trying to show any disrespect to any of ASU's Pac-10 foes. "A lot of people were asking me ‘Omar, were you doing that out of disrespect?' And I told them ‘No.' Everybody that knows me knows that I'm one of the most humble players around here. I'm not arrogant or anything like that. I did that because I wanted to be different and make a statement at the same time."

On the other hand, he fully acknowledged that he doesn't lack swagger on the football field. "Of course I'm confident in myself," said Bolden. "If I don't have the confidence in myself who else will have it?"

His accomplishments can certainly validate his assurance in his skills. Bolden is a gifted athlete who runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, and has collected 26 touchdowns and over 2,500 all-purpose yards as a running back during his senior season. As a defensive back he tallied 80 tackles in that year, and is ranked 16th best cornerback in the nation by "I'm a fast and a very physical player," he said as he described his attributes. "On defense, I love playing the bump ‘n run. I probably could improve on my footwork."

Since he played running back in high school, he said that he's favorite player in the NFL is Ladainian Tomlinson, but compares his game to another running back in the pros – Marion Barber. When asked if he is coming to ASU with the notion that he's going to play running back or cornerback, he simply answers "I'm coming with the notion that I'm gonna play. I don't plan at all to redshirt." He added that "Whatever position I play, I definitely wanna touch the ball when I play USC and Washington. A punt return, kick return, or something…"

Bolden is still working on being academically qualified. He carries a 2.5 GPA, and will take the ACT test in March. Overall, he does feel confident that he will get the necessary score to join the Sun Devils in the summer. "I plan to come to Tempe right after the July 4th holiday," he stated. "But if it's a problem with the coaches and they want me to come earlier, then I'll go there earlier."

Early or later, it will be worth the wait…

Recruit Profile

Name Omar Bolden

High School Colony HS (Ontario, CA)

Position CB



Date of Birth 12/20/88

Birthplace Lynwood, CA Nickname "Biscuit – like Seabiscuit the horse. My old coach said that once I start running ain't no one gonna catch me."

Favorite TV Show "NFL Total Access."

Favorite Movie "The Wood"

Favorite Singer "Tyrese "

Favorite Food "Enchiladas"

Favorite Drink "Strawberry Lemonade"

Favorite Athlete "Ladainian Tomlinson"

Favorite Pro Team "Atlanta Falcons"

Person you most admire "My father, because of everything that he went through and where he has come from."

First Football Memory "I was like 11 or 12 fighting over jersey number 28. I got to wear that number."

One Thing most people don't know about me "I get irritated by stupid questions. Your questions are OK (laughs). I just don't like it when people ask me a question that they already know the answer to."

Why did you choose ASU? "The opportunity to come in and play and be successful early."

Where do you want to be in ten years? "Playing the NFL. If that doesn't work out then maybe be in Athletic Administration."

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