When you run a 3-3-5 defense it's no secret defensive backs are a top priority. With 6'1", 220 pound safety Chris Bolden, BYU got a combination linebacker/defensive back that, according to RCC running back coach Petelo "Q" Hifo, can both cover wide receivers or play outside linebacker.
"His greatest strength is he can cover at that size," said coach Hifo. "He plays safety for us now but he could be a linebacker in that 3-3-5 defense at BYU. Chris is a big kid. He‘s built like a football player and is a really tough kid."
Bolden is a self motivated athlete that pushes himself to be better both on the field and off. His goal of increasing his speed in last year's off-season paid off for him on the field.
"I spent a lot of time in the off season working on my footwork and speed and that's why they would put me in at nickel back because not only was I was the biggest kid they had but I could cover as well," Bolden said.
Coming from a military family, Bolden learned early in life about self discipline and frequently draws upon his past experiences. As a person who possesses the size of a linebacker with the speed of a corner back, Bolden, who is an African American Latter-day Saint, would have no problem fitting into the unique environment found at BYU. Bolden is a perfect fit for Bronco Mendenhall's defense and BYU.
"I'm from Georgia," Bolden said. "Well, I wasn't born in Georgia I was born in the Philippines. My parents are both military. Both of then are Navy. My mom dropped out when I was born. My dad is actually still in the Navy, so yeah, I've traveled the world with them. I went to high school [Hephzibah High School] in Georgia and after I graduated went into the Navy and spent four years in the military. I came back to the states to play football. I was converted because I met my best friend back in Georgia. His whole family is LDS."
"[Bolden] is a strong member of the church," said coach Hifo. "There are a lot of kids who wouldn't want to go to BYU because of the honor code, but Chris already believes in those things. What I really like about Chris is he will do what ever you tell him to do. He's really a humble kid and is someone Mendenhall and BYU coaches can work with because of his personality."
On top of Chris being the perfect fit at BYU from a character stand point, he also racked up some good defensive numbers as one of the top safety prospects in Southern, California in only one year at RCC.
"I had 113 tackles; second on the team behind [MLB] Sims who had 130," said Bolden. "I was second in the conference in tackles. I had 1 interception and 3 sacks. I had 2 forced fumbles and around 5 or 6 pass breakups.
"I spoke to San Jose State last Friday and I've been getting some attention from other D-1 and double "A" schools. The D-1 schools have asked me to send them out film but I haven't done that. I'm just focusing on BYU and I'm not really interested in other schools. I‘m fully committed to BYU."
Focused completely on BYU now that his dream school has offered him a full ride scholarship, Bolden can't wait to experience Provo and take full advantage of what BYU has to offer.
"I'm pretty excited," Bolden exclaimed. "I can't wait to get out there. I've heard all about the new facilities and about all the new equipment. I heard it's great with all brand new stuff. I've never been to Provo but I've heard it's a great place and can‘t wait to see it for myself. I can‘t wait to get into that uniform."
Having played one year as a freshman at Concord College before transferring to Riverside Community College, Bolden will have three years to play two at BYU.
"When I played at Concord I was freshman All-American and First Team All-Conference there'" said Bolden. "I was also defensive back MVP. Here at RCC I was First Team All-Mission Conference. I‘ll have three years to play two at BYU since I haven't redshirted yet."
Bolden will joins the list of current BYU commits in 6‘4", 220 tight end Vic So'oto, 6'2", 200 pound athlete Shawn Doman, 6'3", 285 pound defensive tackle Russell Tialavea, 5'11", 180 pound QB/CB Stephen Covey and 6'4", 250 pound LB/DE Kyle Leukenga.
"I can't wait to get out there and meet all the new guys," Bolden said. Bolden will be taking an official visit to Provo
Before he arrives in Provo, Bolden wanted to give BYU fans this message.
"I want to say I'm already looking forward to their support and I can't wait to go out there and give them something to cheer for."