Bolden Frustrated, Not Defeated

Omar Bolden came in as of the most decorated recruit in the 2007 class, and earned himself a spot on the Freshman All-American Team. Unfortunately, 2008 has not been as kind to the CB. He struggled mightily against UNLV and had a rough first half last week against Georgia. The young corner attributes his struggles to learning the techniques of new cornerbacks coach Greg Burns.

The athlete from Ontario, Calif. made the move to cornerback upon his arrival to Tempe and found success almost instantly. This season however, the learning curve has been steep.

"It's a technique thing," Bolden explained. "That's what it definitely is. I just need to get back to focusing on fundamentals and stuff like that and I'll be good. I can read the receivers' body language here because I go against them everyday. But when I face new receivers it's hard for me to get a feel of them. I need to start doing more film study and stuff like that."

"It's pretty difficult (to learn a new technique). Last year we learned a completely different technique. This year we come out and have something totally different. It's kind of irritating to me because I haven't played corner (very long). Learning two different techniques in two different years is pretty rough."

For the majority of the game against Georgia, Bolden was matched up against the Bulldogs super freshman AJ Green. The young wide receiver ended up with eight catches for 159 yards and a touchdown and found great success against Bolden.

"It was really more difficult because of the alignment that he lined up in all game," Bolden recalled. "He kind of lined up towards the hash and then they had me playing off so there are plenty of routes you can run. You can run out, you can run in, you can run a fade. There are so many different combinations of routes you can run so it is kind of hard to prepare. But when you start pressing it gets a little easier."

Bolden acknowledges that he has been playing to his abilities and it is hard to deal with, but he has a never say die attitude and is ready to perform at an All-Conference level.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit discouraged with myself," he commented. "I'm disappointed in my performance so I'm kind of beating myself up a little bit. But like I said I'm a fighter, I'm going to bounce back. The coaches have said ‘Keep your head up, keep working.' It happens. Ups and downs, smiles and frowns."

After such an impressive performance as a freshman, there were a lot of expectations surrounding the Ontario, Calif. cornerback and Bolden took it upon himself to live up to that hype. Furthermore, in 2007 he was overshadowed by Justin Tryon, currently a rookie with the Washington Redskins. This year, he's facing a different set of circumstances.

"That's my problem," he admitted. "When things happen in the game, last year I had it easy. It was easy for me to lose sight of what happened and have the short-term memory. Now I feel that I'm supposed to be the lockdown corner so when I get beat it really frustrates me."

Despite losing in back-to-back home games and struggling in both contests, Bolden's attitude was upbeat and happy following Tuesday's practice.

"I guess we all have to have a short term memory now," he stated. "Two losses in a row kind of hurts. But we have to brush that off. We have to keep going. We're 1-0 in the Pac-10 and we have to make sure we stay undefeated in the Pac-10 so we can get that Pac-10 Championship."

"Non-conference is over. It's all conference now. Like I said we're 1-0 in the conference and we're pretty focused and confident now."


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