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Bubba Bolden Turning Heads So Far In 2020

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Bolden is quickly becoming a star on Miami’s defense

247 Sports

At 3-0 and ranked #8 in the country, there’s plenty to be excited about so far for the Miami Hurricanes. While many people are focusing on the offense, and rightfully so, on the other side of the football, Bubba Bolden is quickly establishing himself as one of the best safeties in America.

Through the first three games of 2020, Bolden is second on Miami with 17 tackles, to go along with 3 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and 1 pass deflection. Fellow safety Amari Carter leads the team with 19 tackles.

After transferring from USC last year, Bolden played in just five games before suffering a season ending injury against FSU after making an interception. Though, you could clearly see from his brief action how special of a player Bolden is.

All offseason, Bolden was one of the players I was most excited to watch, now that he was fully healthy, and have said since he came from the Trojans he has “Sunday talent.”

Against the Seminoles on Saturday, Bolden turned in a primetime performance, with 4 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 pass deflection and a forced fumble.

While his interception gave him his first Turnover Chain of the year, it was his pass deflection in the end zone that was my favorite play of his on Saturday. With FSU driving, Bolden came in like a missile, tipped the pass into the air and Al Blades Jr. made the interception.

The week before when Miami played at Louisville, Bolden led the Hurricanes defense with 11 tackles and forcing a fumble. In coverage, Bolden held his own against the speedy receiver Tutu Atwell, and tackling the quick Cardinals offensive weapons in space.

Thanks to his performance against the Cardinals, Bolden was named the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week as well as ACC Defensive Back of the Week. According to PFF, Bolden is the third best player for Miami with a 74.5 grade, behind Will Mallory and D’Eriq King.

Bolden is the complete package at safety, ideal size, tremendous athleticism, great range, and a defender who is a sure tackler in the open field. With his playmaking ability, Bolden reminds me somewhat of Jaquan Johnson, with a high football IQ and always being around the ball.

Not only has he turned into possibly the best defender for Miami, but we can start the discussion for Bolden being one of the top safeties in college football. If he can continue his high level of play, Bolden could be taking home the Thorpe Award at the end of the year.

But more than his stats, Bolden has showcased incredible leadership and humility that speaks volume. Following his great game against Louisville, while everyone was praising him, Bolden wasn’t fully satisfied.

“On paper it looked good. I played hard and played fast, but when it comes down to our scheme of things and some of my assignments, I could have done a lot better,” Bolden told reporters. “I came to Coach Baker, Coach Banda and Coach Diaz and just said, ‘I can play better. I'll do better and I'll really lock in this week, especially it being Florida State.”

Now that’s leadership.