Sam Webb: When did you get your Michigan offer?
Joe Bolden: "Probably not even half an hour ago."
Sam Webb: Did it catch you by surprise or were you expecting it?
Joe Bolden: "I don't know if expecting it would be the word, but it definitely wasn't on my agenda for today (laughter)."
Sam Webb: How much interest, how much intensity had Michigan been recruiting you with here or was it kind of out of the blue that they jumped on you here recently?
Joe Bolden: "Before signing day this year, they were in looking at a couple of kids at our high school. I've talked to the D-coordinator, Coach Mattison for a little bit and the linebacker coach and they seemed pretty interested. My highlight tape was sent along with a game tape and I guess they just watched more of that today and they liked how I played. Supposedly they called my uncle, who is the head coach, and then my uncle told me."
Sam Webb: What are your impressions of Coach Mattison and Coach Smith so far?
Joe Bolden: "They know exactly what they are talking about when it comes to football and they seem like great guys."
Sam Webb: Were you familiar at all with Coach Mattison when he was at the Ravens?
Joe Bolden: "Yes. He actually talked to me about where he had been from Michigan to Notre Dame to Florida to the Ravens, and now back to Michigan. He definitely talked about that and talked about some of the guys that he has had at the Ravens and I have. I have seen the Ravens play a lot since Cincinnati and Baltimore are in the same division. The Ravens defense -- you don't mess with them (laughter)."
Sam Webb: Did he sort of spell out for you what the vision for you would be in his defense and where you would fit in?
Joe Bolden: "We have not talked about that yet, but I'm going up next Thursday, this Thursday coming up, on an unofficial visit. He said we're going to sit down and watch some film and he is going to explain to me what is going to go on if I choose to attend Michigan."
Sam Webb: Let's reflect a bit on your high school season. How did the season go for your team collectively and then for you individually?
Joe Bolden: "I wouldn't say the season was a disappointment. I'm still upset that we didn't go farther in the state playoffs and end our season in Canton. Overall, I think we had a good year in our league. We won our 11th straight GMAC title and I hope for bigger and better things this coming year as being a senior and hopefully leading the younger kids with some leadership to Canton and finish with a state title. (On the season) I think I had over 80 tackles, three interceptions and three or four sacks I believe."
Sam Webb: What schools have offered you scholarships so far?
Joe Bolden: "I have 16 others."
Sam Webb: Give me a few of the bigger ones off the top of your head.
Joe Bolden: "I'll give you one from each conference. From the MAC, Miami of Ohio, from the ACC, it is North Carolina, SEC Kentucky, PAC12 Stanford, Big Ten obviously Michigan, Northwestern, Indiana and Illinois."
Sam Webb: You're obviously from Ohio so I'm curious -- a lot of guys in Ohio grow up Ohio State fans -- is that true for you? Did you grow up a fan of the Buckeyes?
Joe Bolden: "I grew up watching a variety of schools. I definitely watched (the Buckeyes) when I was younger, but I also watched Notre Dame, all the area teams that are around me that are on TV every Saturday. I also grew up watching Michigan too."
Sam Webb: What has Ohio State said to you about where you stand on their list right now?
Joe Bolden: "I haven't talked to them recently -- obviously because of all the commotion going on up right there now. I talked to Coach Fickell and he said that they are very interested and would love to see me at camp and I think I'll be up there this summer possibly. I'm also going on a couple of other visits too."
Sam Webb: What schools have you visited, either for games or camps?
Joe Bolden: "So far I have been to Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Kentucky. That's probably it at this point. Here coming up, I'll be up at Michigan on Thursday. I'll travel down to Carolina and visit North Carolina and North Carolina State and hopefully stop by Tennessee and Vanderbilt too. I'm trying to get to every school that has offered me. I'm also looking at flights out to Stanford, Arizona and Boston College."
Sam Webb: Have you given any thought to a timeline for how you would like to have this play out?
Joe Bolden: "No. I don't have any timeline on myself or anything of that sort. Obviously, I'm going to look at each and every school that has offered me and get as much information on each school so I can make the right decision in the end. If it takes until February 2nd of next year, I'll make the decision on February 2nd of next year. I'm not putting any more pressure on myself."
Sam Webb: When you get ready to sit down and make your decision whenever that is, what are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?
Joe Bolden: "First are definitely academics. I want to go to a school that I could picture at if I was not playing football there that I could go there for four years as a student. Secondly would be athletics, do they have tradition, do I fit in what I want to do. What are their goals, do they want to win a national championship, a league championship and just what they want to do at the place. Thirdly probably would be tradition."
Sam Webb: In the grand scheme of things, you mentioned that you're going out to Stanford, visit some schools down south; have you thought about the distance factor, is that going to play a role in your decision making process at all?
Joe Bolden: "No. It doesn't have any role. My parents and family told me that wherever I go to school they'll be there to support me. Wherever I fit in, I fit in. If it is two minutes from home, it is two minutes from home, if it is all the way out on the West Coast or to the East Coast, wherever I fit in and I'm going to get to play and I get my education."
Sam Webb: Where does Michigan stand on your list right now?
Joe Bolden: "Obviously, they're the latest school to offer, but I don't have any favorites right now. I haven't narrowed anything down. I'm completely open to anyone and everyone that offers."