Bolden Ready For Junior Season

It was a game for the ages and record book. Orchard Lake St. Mary's and East Grand Rapids battled it out for four quarters and five overtimes in the Division III state championship, the longest contest in Michigan history.

Sophomore quarterback Robert Bolden thought he and his St. Mary's teammates had the game won three or four different times, before they finally fell to the defending state champs, 46-39.

"It had me going," the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Bolden stated. The first-year starter was 8-of-15 passing for 104 yards, and scored a rushing touchdown in the game. "It took a lot of heart from both sides of the ball. Both teams kept battling back and forth until someone came up with a win in the end.

"But it was a great experience for me and my sophomore year, coming into my junior year. I'll be able to learn from that game and take it with me throughout the rest of high school."

Bolden will be taking something else with him through the rest of high school. A plethora of football scholarship offers.

Already offered by Michigan State and Central Michigan, Bolden is hearing from some of the nation's top programs including Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame. He camped at all three places, as well as Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Toledo.

Bolden camped in South Bend in early July. It was his first time on Notre Dame's campus.

"Mainly all the camps have said the same thing. I pretty much talked to the whole (Notre Dame) staff, and they told me what they liked. I asked them what they didn't like, and what I could work on and pretty much learned from it.

"They just said they liked the way I threw the ball, and my mechanics and footwork, and my 40 speed and everything else."

Bolden ran a 4.50 40-yard dash at the Michigan camp. He reports a GPA of 3.4, and he got some one-on-one time with Irish head coach Charlie Weis before leaving town.

"He said he liked me, and he'll be watching me throughout the season and games, to see how I come through."

Bolden came through just fine as a sophomore, helping his team to a 10-3 record. He threw for around 1,000 yards, ran for another 500 yards, and had seven touchdowns passing, and seven touchdowns throwing.

Before visiting, Bolden didn't know much about Notre Dame. He's still learning.

"I thought it was a great school," Bolden stated. "I didn't get a chance to tour the campus at all, but just being there and talking to the coaches, I think they're great people and it might be a place I want to go someday.

"I really don't know that much about them. I just took it up from me being there that one day. I don't really know much about the school. Just being there I thought it was a good school and I might want to be there with the academics and everything else."

Don't be surprised if you see Bolden inside Notre Dame Stadium on an unofficial visit this fall.

"I'll definitely be trying to get down there whenever I can. Me and my Dad will be talking to some of the coaches to see what's a good day to get down. I'm definitely interested in seeing a game and touring the campus."

Bolden doesn't have a timetable on when he's going to make a college decision.

"Obviously a school with great academics and a school that can take me in and let me throw the ball and run it," he explained of what he's looking for. "A system with a pro-style offense, because in the NFL that's what I'm going to run. A school that is going to teach me and mold me, so I'll be ready for the next level."

After five overtimes in the state championship game last fall, Bolden will be ready for anything this season. Top Stories