Bolden sticks around for senior season


Posted Jan 7, 2011


Omar Bolden is “taking his talents to the next level” but it’s nothing but good news for the Sun Devil nation. During a Friday afternoon press conference the junior cornerback stood up and unbuttoned his shirt to reveal his #3 maroon game day jersey declaring that he will stay at ASU and not enter the 2011 NFL draft.

"My family and I talked in great depth about weighing the pros and cons of leaving school early," Bolden said. "I started off by thanking everyone in the beginning and I'd like to thank my coaches again. They have been very supportive through the whole decision making process. It was obvious that they wanted the best for me. They were going to support me in either decision I made. I'm just fortunate to be around a great coaching staff."

Bolden said that he knew earlier this week that he was going to come back for his senior year, but the deliberation process that preceded that decision was anything but easy.

“There were mornings where I would wake up at six o’clock and my stomach was in knots,” Bolden admitted. “It’s a huge decision to make. You’re talking about leaving some of the fun in the game…the next level is all business. I felt I was ready (to go to the NFL). But there was something in me that said that not everything was done here.

“I felt that it was the best for me to come back and do that.”

The corner reportedly wasn’t projected to go higher than the 4th round of the NFL draft, and that was as aspect that had “a major impact” according to Bolden. “I felt that by me coming back I can improve my stock. I think it’s best for me to come back and improve myself.”

Bolden was one of only four unanimous selections for the 2010 All-Pacific-10 Conference First-Team as selected by the league's coaches, and earned second team honors as a kick returner.

The cornerback led ASU with three interceptions for 85 yards and one touchdown and collected 52 tackles, including 37 solo stops, in 2010. Bolden added three tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and one forced fumble. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 321 yards and a 29.2-yard average.

Many players would jump at the opportunity to forgo their last year of school after such a solid season, and Bolden confessed that this thought was crossing his mind as he mulled over which direction to go in.

“I see myself as an elite athlete,” Bolden said. “That’s how I want to be talked about. But at the same time, it’s not all about me. I want success for this team and for this program. I started off winning (Bolden was a true freshman in 2007) and I would like to finish that way. I really feel that we can do that this season.”

Some national pundits are already predicting Arizona State to capture the Pac-12 South division and qualify for a BCS bowl this upcoming year. Those lofty projections didn’t go unnoticed by the cornerback and did naturally affect his decision.

"I've built special relationships with these guys on the team," Bolden stated. "Not only are they teammates, but I see these guys as family. I wanted to finish that with them. I feel like I started something with them here and I feel like I need to finish it with my guys. I feel like we can be very special this upcoming season. “The opportunities are there. All we got to do is be accountable to each other and we can really make something special happen here in Tempe. I'm ready to bring that Pac-12 Championship back to Tempe. I'm ready to set it off right for the 2011 season."


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