Despite a brief period of time where many believed he would open up his recruitment, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman safety Bubba Bolden reaffirmed at The Opening Finals that he remains committed to USC.
But Bolden does have one big question he is still waiting to have answered by the Trojans: is he the player they want?
“Are they still really firm with me? Are they still real that I’m their guy?” Bolden said. “I know I’m not going to be the only safety that comes to the school, but do I have a chance to really play there or not? I don’t want to be on the bench the whole time.”
As any reasonable high-profile recruit desires, Bolden wants to know he’ll have a shot to compete for playing time and not just be a body on the roster. The communication between USC and the four-star safety, who had a pair of interceptions in the final day of The Opening Finals, slipped early during the offseason, which created the cloud of doubt hovering over Bolden’s commitment.
Since those issues were made public, the Trojans made strides to repair the relationship.
“They came back and they talked to me a lot. Coach [Clay] Helton, he said to me, ‘I’m going to be the one recruiting you. You’re my guy.’
“He hits me up a lot. [Defensive backs] coach [Ronnie] Bradford still hits me up. A lot of USC coaches hit me up. I like it, but I’m still open to other schools. I’m still going to visit everyone.”
Bolden’s visits include a trio of conference competitors for USC. UCLA and Colorado are listed as “for sure” official visits in the fall with Arizona State also expected to receive a trip. The Trojans could also receive one of Bolden’s five official visits.
“ I probably will honestly unless something changes, but I’m not really set,” Bolden said of taking an official visit to USC. “I want to see other schools too. I’ve seen USC a lot, but I probably will end up taking a USC official.”
Even if Bolden does not take an official, you can expect him to be slogging down Interstate 15 from Vegas. He said he plans on taking trips to the Los Angeles Coliseum to see multiple USC games this season. The game day unofficial visits will give Bolden an opportunity to see how the safeties are deployed by new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and Bradford.
At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Bolden fits the mold of the defensive backs the new USC coaching regime seems to be targeting.
“They like the big safety. Marvell Tell [III] is there. He’s a big safety. He’s about 6’3”. They like the big safety. They like the big corners,” Bolden said. “They said they just want straight good players and straight killers out there. They want two safeties — me and somebody else. They said I have a good chance of coming in there and start.”
Here's a look at Bubba Bolden highlights from The Opening Los Angeles Regional that earned him a trip to Oregon for this week's finals:
USC recruiting analyst Gerard Martinez contributed to this report.