Ohio LB Plans UNC Visit

Four-star linebacker Joe Bolden is working on scheduling an unofficial visit to North Carolina this spring.

"I have not set anything up yet," Bolden said. "I'm still trying to set everything up. I play baseball and run track, as well, so it's kind of a hectic schedule right now. But I'm trying to work something out."

Bolden, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain, believes a trip to UNC would take place in "late spring."

In January, UNC offered Bolden a scholarship.

"Coach [Art] Kaufman and I talked a couple times, I sent him my film, he came up [during the Winter Contact Period] and saw me, and that's when he told my coach [I had an offer]," Bolden said.

Kaufman and Bolden now speak once every two weeks.

"[He mostly talks about me] trying to get down there and trying to see their campus," Bolden said.

In addition to UNC, Bolden estimates that nearly 20 schools have offered him, with Boston College, Kentucky, Michigan, and South Florida being among the most recent.

Although a few schools have discussed outside linebacker, Bolden says most schools see him as a MIKE linebacker. Bolden started at inside linebacker in Colerain's ‘50' defense during both his sophomore and junior seasons. As a freshman, he played outside linebacker and he started a couple of games. He expects to be moved back to the outside for this coming season.

"Outside linebacker is the more prominent linebacker in our defense," Bolden said.

Bolden accumulated 90 tackles and ten sacks during his junior season.

Over spring break, Bolden made visits to Cincinnati and Kentucky. He also visited Michigan a couple of weeks ago.

"I haven't been anywhere else, because of baseball," Bolden said.

Bolden plans to return to Michigan this coming Tuesday.

Besides UNC, Bolden is attempting to set up visits to Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Northwestern, and Stanford.

Amid his travel schedule, Bolden has a group of favorite schools.

"Right now, Michigan is probably at the top of the list, along with North Carolina, [Cincinnati], and Kentucky," Bolden said. "I haven't really trimmed anybody off the list, but that's really who's up there right now.

"I like the coaches [at those schools] and what they have to offer. Also, I have a very close knit family and the more I look at it, the more I want to be able to look up in the stands after the fourth quarter and see my whole family up there."

UNC's proximity from Bolden's family will work against it, but it's not a deal breaker.

"[UNC is] definitely within driving distance," Bolden said. "It's not the easiest to get to, but it's not the hardest either. But my parents and family told me no matter where I go and play, they'll be there."

Academics will be first and foremost with Bolden.

"You have to have good academics for me to even take a look at your school," Bolden said. "Obviously, there's life after football and academics has always been the No. 1 priority throughout my whole life.

"Secondly, the football program – do I fit in there? Is your goal to win the national championship? And lastly, the tradition of the schools [is important]."

Bolden isn't exactly sure when a verbal commitment would take place.

"I've talked to [former teammate] Jarrett Grace," Bolden said. "He committed to Notre Dame real early last year. He felt real comfortable with his decision, because he said it took a lot of stress off his shoulders with the coaches calling him and he just felt comfortable with that school.

"My decision is going to be based on if I feel comfortable with a school, if I feel like I will succeed there, and reach my potential." Joe Bolden Profile

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