The Utes scored big in early January when they got what is likely the biggest commitment in program history as five-star offensive tackle and the number one rated junior college football player in the country, Garret Bolles, decided to stay home and play for Utah. Bolles was a one time commit to BYU, committing very early on in his junior college career to the Cougars. When word, and film, got out about how dominant of a player he was, offers from all over the country started flooding in and Bolles promptly decommitted in order to better evaluate his options. The top programs in college football came to the small town of Ephraim, Utah to see Bolles. He eventually received offers from 3 of this year’s 4 playoff teams, including the national champion Crimson Tide of Alabama. In addition, Bolles received offers from Georgia, USC, Ohio State, Florida Sate, Ole Miss, and Arkansas, among others. Coaches Harding and Scalley were instrumental in Bolles’ decision to stay local, and their determination to keep Bolles home should be commended.
Have you ever wanted to see an NFL left tackle play for the Utes? Well, you’re about to see one, as Bolles has the tools, speed, size and smarts to be a possible first round draft pick. Some scouts even touted him as being NFL ready THIS year. It’s not unrealistic to view Bolles as a ‘one and done’ player for the Utes. He stands 6’6" and weighs in at 305 pounds, giving him a immediate impact frame. His long arms are the type you look for in a tackle, along has with great bend in that frame. Bolles footwork is unmatched at the JUCO level, and so is his speed, which is referred to by many as 'freakish' for his size. Some scouts have reported that Bolles runs a sub 4.9 40 yard-dash, which makes him deadly on screen passes and getting to the next level in the run game. Off the field, you can’t find a nicer, more down to earth young man, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the way he plays the game. Bolles is very aggressive and not afraid to get in the face of an opponent. Whether it’s in pass protection, the run game, or the screen game, Bolles can do it all.
Bolles will join the Utes just after the conclusion of this current spring semester, and will start working out with the team in the summer. While it’s unfortunate that he won’t be on the team for spring ball, he shouldn’t miss a beat and will likely start spring ball as the starter, or co-starter, at left tackle. With Utah returning 4 of 5 starters, and 2 part-time starters, Bolles will join an already very experienced offensive line corps, and should push that position group into the strength of the team. Enjoy Bolles while he’s at Utah, because it very well could be just one season before he’s off to the NFL.