football Edit

Midwest programs now leading way with 3-Star LB Nick Bolton

Frisco, Texas, three-star linebacker Nick Bolton has seen his recruitment switch gears in a significant way since his de-commitment from Washington in the fall.

When it seemed as though Texas A&M had picked up its interest to the point of offering him, Bolton and the Huskies staff chose to go their separate ways. Of course, by the end of the season the Aggies staff was well on its way to an overhaul, and now a new cast of teams is in the mix to try and bring him aboard by National Signing Day in February.

Perhaps the team best positioned to do so is Missouri, who already has found success recruiting linebackers out of Texas this year. Bolton is scheduled to take an official visit to Columbia on the weekend of February 3, and is optimistic that between now and then, he’ll have an offer in hand from the Tigers to consider.

“Coach Brian Odom was the coach that came to my school a couple of days ago, and we were able to talk for about 20 minutes,” he said. “We talked about Mizzou, recruiting-wise, how I fit with their style of play. I’ve been talking with him the most and I’m about to shoot the head coach a message and I’d like to get on the phone with him today or tomorrow so I can start building a connection with him as well.

The Tigers already have inked Rivals250 inside linebacker Chad Bailey and Del Valle, Texas, 3-Star ILB Cameron Wilkins, but Bolton said that should he choose Missouri, the staff thinks Bailey could move to the outside to make room for him in the defense.

“(Bailey) could play will or mike with their two inside backer positions, and that’s pretty much what they’ve been talking to me about,” Bolton said. “I feel like I could fit good in their scheme, I’ve been doing some research on them and feel like I can compete with anybody and hopefully get a starting job at one point.”

Even though the Tigers seem due to land that coveted final official visit, they’ll have to hold off the recent interest and effort from programs like Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana Tech and Purdue in the coming weeks. Bolton hopes to pull together a last-minute official to Kansas this weekend and has one scheduled for LaTech on January 27.

IN HIS WORDS

On Kansas

“Kansas has always been good to me,” he said. “They’ve been recruiting hard in this area the past few years. They’re still trying to build a full roster after the last few years and have been signing a bunch of JuCo players, but they think that they’re gearing up to really compete in the Big 12 in another year.”

“Kansas came to our school a couple years ago and did a camp,” he said. “I got to bond with Coach (Todd) Bradford at that camp … so I’ve known him for a while and we’ve stayed in contact for around two years now. Just because of the fact that we’ve been talking back-and-forth for such a long period of time, that’s one of the strongest relationships I have.”

On Louisiana Tech

“I know a lot about the program, actually, because my dad went to LaTech and played football there,” he said. “I know the city of Ruston and I have family in the area in Louisiana, so I know a lot about them. They went out and got Maureese (Wren) from Horn [Mesquite, TX] and that’s a good get for them.

“I think their class is really good this year. It’s not like one of the top-fifteen, but it’s up there, and they’ve done a good job of building the program and have sent a lot of guys to the NFL.”

“Last summer I was out there for a family reunion on my dad’s side of the family,” he said. “So I got to look around the area and the new facility from the outside. On my visit, I want to get a closer look at the renovation, see the inside, the locker rooms and stuff like that. I want to make sure that I like the city I’ll be in and get a feel for it while I’m out there and get a feel for the coaches as well.”

On Purdue

“I talked to coach Derrick Jackson, and the program is doing good,” he said. “They have a great academic program as well, but I’ve just been talking with them and building relationships with them. I haven’t talked to them much this week, but he messaged me last week asking me if I was still interested and I told them I was, so I sent him my transcript today and I’m hoping to keep building that relationship as well.”

RIVALS REACTION

Bolton is a solid defender that would provide a lift to any of the teams currently involved in his recruitment. Although he now seems faced with a bit of an accelerated decision-making process pending the results of his tentative official visit to Missouri, his rugged style of play as a throwback linebacker prospect make him worth the effort teams are putting in with him late in the process.