Virginia OL Talks Duke Visit

One of the recent visitors to Durham was 6-foot-4, 285 pound offensive lineman A.J. Bolden, a product of Winchester (Va.) Millbrook High. After spending a day watching the Blue Devils on the practice field, the Virginia prospect says he's very impressed with Duke.

"I went to Duke during the first week of their Spring Practice," said A.J. Bolden. "All in all I'd have to say I was very impressed with everything I saw and heard during my time there."

Bolden currently claims interest from a number of schools including Duke, Buffalo, North Carolina, Boston College, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Virginia, and others. Each of those programs has indicated that an offer is likely down the road.

"Right now I'm looking at all of the schools and learning what I can. When it comes time to really evaluate the schools and make a decision it's going to be important for me to figure out which opportunity will allow me to not only become a better football player, but also which program can prepare me for life after football."

The Blue Devils hope to have made an impression early on with contact and now a visit under the eye of Coach Roper.

"I had a chance to meet with Coach Roper and he introduced me to the rest of the staff and position coaches. We've started building a relationship and Duke has made it clear where they stand with me."

Which is where?

"We are in the process of getting to know each other. They've seen film on me, but want me to come in and compete at their camp. They like what they saw on film, but really want a look at me up close."

In addition to meeting the coaching staff, Bolden had a chance to see the campus and the new facilities. Both appear to have left a positive impression.

"The first thing I said when I got to Duke was how amazing the campus was. It's so beautiful and all the buildings are gorgeous. I was amazed at how nice everything was."

"After touring the campus we went to watch practice and that was a good experience. Everything was high intensity and very competitive. There was a lot of contact and you could really hear the hits coming over and over. The coaches never let the pace slow down which was really impressive since it was one of their first practices of the season."

In two years on the varsity team at Millbrook, Bolden has played tackle, guard, and center. At the next level each of the programs recruiting him projects him as an interior lineman, which is fine with him.

"Being on the inside really requires you to put in work and know the playbook. You have to know which way to go and you have to adjust to what is happening on either side of you. The idea of being on the offensive line is appealing in both the passing and running game. In the passing gem I like the idea of out-thinking my opponent. Knowing which way to move and having faster feet to give our quarterback time. When we're running it's all about over-powering your opponents and putting them down."

Heading into the summer Bolden reports weight room numbers of a 330 pound max on the bench and 465 on the squat.


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