Take a moment and think about what makes up a "prototyptical" left tackle in college football these days. They've got to possess a few very key attributes, most notably, long arms, quick feet, a strong lower body, and a great football IQ. These are just a few of the things that college coaches across the country look for when recruiting offensive tackles, and down in the small town of Ephraim, Utah, they've found just that, and more.
Garett Bolles was an unknown freshman when he won the starting job at left tackle at Snow College last season, but that's no longer the case, as he holds offers from pretty much every team you'd expect to find listed in the Top 25 during the college football season. It didn't start off that way though, as Bolles first offer came from the school just south of where he grew up, and he jumped on that offer and committed to BYU. That was back in November of last year, but after being committed for 6 months and reeling in offers from the likes of Alabama, Oregon, Auburn, Florida State, Utah and many others, Bolles has officially re opened his recruitment and de committed from the Cougars this week.
"I have decommited from BYU," said Bolles. "Going forward I am going to evaluate every offer I have. Then in August I will cut my list down to five or six schools to really focus on." It'll be a tough task for Bolles to cut down that list, as he'll be choosing from college football's most elite programs when he does that, and he's in no rush to make a commitment once that list is cut down. "I am planning on using the full recruiting process to make sure the next step I take is the right one." That will likely include taking all five official visits, before making a final decision close to national signing day in February 2016. As illustrated by his growing offer list, programs around the country didn't shy away from recruiting Bolles, despite his commitment to BYU, and now that he has opened things up he says there are numerous schools that are recruiting him the hardest. "Right now the schools that recruiting me the hardest are the PAC 12 and SEC schools, so I am just trying to develop relationships, and then I'll narrow down my list in August."
One of the schools included in that list is the University of Utah, as they have made Bolles a top priority in the 2016 class and believe he could be a day one starter at left tackle, and help solidify what has been a struggling offensive line in past years. The Utes offered Bolles about 3 months ago, and have been developing a relationship with him since, something that is going extremely well according to Bolles. "I have a great relationship with Coach Whittingham, Coach Harding and Coach Scalley. It's been great talking with them. I am impressed with their program and their academic success with their players." Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Harding has become what some fans would call an "ace" recruiter with offensive linemen in his short time since coming to Utah, and he's been putting in extra work to establish that close bond with Bolles. "Coach Harding is a great coach. I'm impressed with how he treats his players. That's definitely the type of coach I want to play for."
With a long list of schools battling it out for Bolles commitment, it will be tough for the 6'6-300lb tackle to make a final decision, but he's got a very specific requirement for the school that he ultimately ends up choosing. "The most important thing to me is relationships. I want to establish great relationships with the head coach, the o line coach, and the offensive coordinator. That is really important to me. My relationship with Coach Rafe Maughan and the other coaches at Snow has had a big influence on my life this past year. I wouldn't be where I am without them. I want to find a school with that kind of support at the next level." Bolles also says that location won't be a big factor in his recruitment, as he's focused on finding the right fit for him, regardless of where that may be. "It doesn't matter where I go. My family and I just want to find the best fit for me, and there are a lot of factors involved in the decision."
One thing's for sure, Garett Bolles knows exactly what he wants, and he's also a very wanted man. He'll make one lucky program a better football team, both on and off the field.
Check out Bolles freshman highlights here.
Bolles Opens Things Up; Is Impressed By Utah
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