Las Vegas (Nev.) four-star safety Bubba Bolden wondered out loud last week whether the school that he committed to was still committed to him.
“I am still committed to USC because it is a dream school,” said Bolden. “That’s the school I really want to go to. But it’s also what best fits me.
“It’s the environment and what my parents really like. I just need to build more of a relationship with the staff. I love the environment at USC and I can see myself going there.
“You can get a great education there and I grew up watching USC football, so it’s an all-around perfect school. I just need to build up that relationship with the coaches and keep it solid.”
When Bolden talks about building up his relationship with the USC staff, he is not speaking in generalities.
Shortly after Clay Helton was named head coach at USC last fall, Bolden verbally commit to the Trojans. While Bolden liked Helton, it seemed like his decision was based more on stability than coaching personnel.
But having not communicated with the USC coaching staff for a month since the Trojans' spring game, Bolden’s solid commitment eroded away.
“Having a relationship with the DB coach is a big deal, and I haven’t really talked to Coach (Ronnie) Bradford in a while” said Bolden. “We just have to build that relationship back up.
“I hadn’t talked to him, or really any of the coaches for while. It’s one of those things where I’m like, ‘What’s up with SC?’”
On cue, USC traveled to Bishop Gorman last week to help answer that question.
“Coach (Clancy) Pendergast actually came to my school Thursday to watch me play,” said Bolden. “After the visit I talked to him about everything.
“He just said that they’ve been on the road recruiting hard trying to find another safety. They felt like I was a solid commit, so they didn’t need to recruit me as hard. I still need to build up that relationship with them though.”
USC may assume Bolden is a solid commitment, but by definition, he is not.
“I’m still taking my visits and looking at a few schools,” said Bolden. “Colorado has been on me tough since day one.
“No matter whether I was committed or not, they hit me up everyday texting me and calling me. UCLA has been on my a lot lately too. I’ve built a good relationship with Coach Meat (Demetrice Martin). Washington State and Arizona State have been on me.
“New schools keep coming in for evaluations. Michigan, Clemson, Texas Tech, Oregon, North Carolina… it’s been nice. Tennessee was the last school to offer. I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity to go to these different colleges. The recruiting process has been good.”
Committed, wavering or de-committed, Bolden will make a final decision on a college at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. He will join Bishop Gorman teammate Tate Martell and former Gael wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey for the West squad.
Bolden says it’s his last game with either, which suggests all three will end up at different schools. Bolden would like to play with Bishop Gorman cornerback Alex Perry in college, although he falls short of labeling their recruitments a package deal.
“Getting to play with those guys one last time is a big thing,” said Bolden. “I’m trying to et Alex into the Army game too.
“Alex and I have been together since we were 5-years-old, so we’re definitely trying to play together in college, but if we have to go our separate ways, then that’s that. We have to see what best fits us.”